Pushed, pressed, and presently scared, the post lockdown consumers will be more thoughtful and cautious than ever. Businesses will need a different approach to connect with their wallets. That approach should come from renewed focus on building value from the core up.
Every enterprise is built on the concept of exchange. This is true because no one really arrives on ‘mother earth’ stocked with everything he or she needs to survive.
Therefore every ‘Zenny’ and ‘Zack’ must offer some form and sort with real value in exchange for any form or sort loaded with value that meet their needs.
Value is the core of every modern product and service. Everything else is pure augmentation.
Value comes in different forms. Comfort is value. Leisure is value. Info is value. Mobility is value. Caring is value. Speed is value. Connection is value. Spiritual help is value. Knowledge is value. Convenience is value.
Entrepreneurs seek to take these core values and tuck them in real forms such as e-commerce; social apps, travel, beauty care, quick meals, bath, clothing, blogs, medicare, counseling and more. All these for rewards laden with equal or greater value, which often come in monetary form or concession. This is the truth about building lasting businesses.
Business thrives when managers understand they must be profitable to continue to exist. However the break-even point of value starts at the point where the core offering matches the price tag.
The 21st century consumers who have experienced 2 economic depression – the 2008 to 2010 global financial collapse and the 2020 total economic lockdown with the resulting contraction – cannot tolerate being taken for a ride for too long. They are easily mindful of the reality of what value they truly are getting in return for money.
It is like one scenario painted by a marketing writer, Patrick Gaincko, about a mall and some store in Morocco: …Virginie Valentini, an executive at a sport car dealer and a socialite in Casablanca, grew frustrated when Galeries Lafayette repeatedly proved unable to deliver: “I wanted a Zadig & Voltaire handbag displayed on the window. They told me it had been reserved for a customer. Then another day, the shoes that they had put on sale in the morning, were no longer available end afternoon!” She says it became clear that the department store was serving outdated fashion collections, had no stocks, and was never able to offer pieces on sale on Galeries Lafayette’s global website.
According to Gaincko, that store and the mall itself only lasted 4 years – that was 2012 to 2016. The sum of it is that we are in the era of the Thoughtful and Cautious Consumers.
This is instructive for budding startups now. Entrepreneurs must provide valuable exchange to keep their place in current markets. Exchange is a way of obtaining what you need legally. For instance, someone who is hungry can obtain food by hunting, fishing, gathering, begging, and offering a service to someone else while making a sufficient return to purchase some local delicacy.
What an entrepreneur does is to look around for what he or she can offer – a product or service – in return for a reward. This reward will sufficiently meet his or her personal needs. When there are more entrepreneurs in a country, it gives that country an opportunity to produce much more than it consumes and create platforms for export which can fetch that country a good foreign exchange. The conditions necessary for exchange are:
a. at least two parties must be involved
- each party must offer something of value to each other
- each party must want to deal with each other
- each party must be able to communicate and deliver
All entrepreneurs must have a solution mindset. They must be willing to give before receiving. A typical example is ‘Facebook’, a popular virtual neighborhood for everyone around the world.
The entrepreneur behind this social hub, Mark, first sought to give people of every background the opportunity to communicate or ‘catch-up’ on each other in exchange for personal data which the business uses to market brands and products in return for an extraordinary reward worth billions of dollars.
To Guide the focus of modern entrepreneurs here are few ‘Need Recognition Strategy’: Sense, Serve and Satisfy
- Locate a particular set of people, place or institution
- Conduct a research about the people, place or institution
- Identify their common or peculiar needs (if already met, think about ‘a pain-area’. i.e. what is lacking in the already met needs)
- scrutinize the price boundary of the people (income, spending range and frequency – basic or luxury or both)
- Develop an offering or product that satisfies the identified needs at a price affordable to the people
- Make your offering available (in stores, or through vendors, or by home delivery, or online)
- Communicate by making the target market aware of your offering