Competing in a crowded marketplace requires the 4 Rs (Shinjuku courtesy of William Bullimore)
What are the most important ingredients in any successful business?
Is it the ability to stimulate Recognition deep, far and wide, penetrating into every household (or organisation) in the land?
Is it the ability to foster close and positive Relationships with one’s customers?
Is it the ability to create Remarkable products and services with exciting new offerings that captures the imagination?
Or is it the ability to Resolve the headaches and issues that one’s customers face?
I believe that the best organisations employ a mixture of all four Rs. Here’s why.
The first R seems to be the most obvious in any business. To gain the trust and respect of potential customers, you need to generate some degree of awareness and recognition amongst your target audiences. Your customers need to know who you are, what you stand for, and the quality of your products and services. Of course, not every company needs to have a brand that is as pervasive as say Microsoft or Coca Cola, but you still need to strike some form of connection with your customers in order to get them to loosen their purse strings.
The second R is certainly a key dimension in any business as it is often the heart rather than the head which ultimately makes buying decisions. Clever businesses know that the key to future profitability lies in fostering a close and enriching relationship with one’s customers. Maintaining and enhancing customer goodwill will help to generate positive word-of-mouth effect – a key marketing strategy in this day and age of advertising clutter.
The third R is an inevitable necessity in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. With such a wide range of product and service offering available in almost every imaginable category, businesses must constantly rejuvenate their product lines to meet the needs, wants and desires of their customers. Just being good enough isn’t sufficient to win this war.
The fourth R is probably the one that promises the greatest returns for businesses who care enough to make their customer’s lives easier. Unfortunately, many business transactions impose a major pain on their customers. Just think about how credit cards insist that you provide a photocopy of your payslip after completing a complex form, or of hire purchase agreements that are full of legalese while you fill them up in triplicate copies. Simplifying things for your customers can be a tremendous step in improving repeat business. It would be even better if you can help them to solve their problems in reaching their customers.
When you think about how you can improve your business, consider the 4 Rs – brand Recognition, customer Relationships, Remarkable products, and the Resolution of customer problems.