What Do Your Customers Really Want?Let Us Give You An Idea.
We all know we're living in the Information Age - and how vital a role the Internet plays in the free dissemination of all that information.
What many may not realize, however, is that the availability of information isn't simply a byproduct of advancing technology - it's what people want.
A recent article at emarketer.com, "Americans Want Brands that Inform," focused on findings in the “Global Web Index” from Lightspeed Research.
The third most important action a brand can take to make itself relevant to consumers is "Provide me with new ideas and thinking." Only "news" (which scored only slightly higher) and "product discounts" (no surprise in today's economic climate) ranked higher. Way down the list were things like "Sponsor my favorite sports team" and "Associate with celebrities that I like." (Sorry Morgan Freeman.)
And where do they want their ideas and information to come from? According to the article "...US consumers found social network contacts and bloggers that they read regularly more trustworthy than major journalists, television news readers and radio presenters. Celebrities and TV show presenters were tied with politicians for the dishonor of being considered least trustworthy."
So what does it all mean for business? That if you want to survive, you had better be able to supply your customers with a constant supply of fresh, new thinking.
It means you need ideas. Lots and lots of good ideas.
In the not so distant past, the demand for fresh thinking wasn't so fierce. Sure, great ideas were always needed, but not overwhelming quantity we need to produce today.
Companies everywhere are buckling under the pressure to deliver innovative thinking at ever increasing speed. Many use decades-old processes for generating, sharing and developing ideas. Many still consider "creativity" something magical, rather than a systematic process that can be implemented every day. And many simply have no idea...how to generate ideas. They just know nobody in their organization is coming up with them.
It's time for business to understand that nothing happens without an idea - not a product design, not a marketing plan, not a sales strategy - and invest appropriately in the thing their consumers want most.
How's that for an idea?