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Customers are king…

Over the last few years, we have seen more and more conversations that popped up about the way that business is being disrupted by technology, globalization, and new business models.

Technology has done a great deal to change the way that we do business in this country and countries around the globe.

There are a whole handful of ideas that I have driven our changing business models:

  • The way that information flows more freely.
  • The fact that we aren’t limited by location as much as we have been in the past.
  • Shifts in demographics.
  • Customers having more control over their purchasing choices and decisions.

These things are all in the mix to create a radically different business environment than we ever had before.

These ideas and all of the other ones that are at play have unrooted the basic assumptions that prop up our understanding of what a business is and how if functions in society.

To quote Peter Drucker, “The theory of business has changed.”

This major shift has taken on a number of major companies and industries, leaving them largely unidentifiable to us or worse.

Think about the way that retail is struggling to remain competitive with Amazon.

Look to Kodak and the way that they failed to embrace digital photography.

How about the political process in America?

All of these examples are meant to show that our theory and concept of business is changing and has changed permanently.

This really means that wishing for the return of an old business model isn’t like to work.

Thinking of my work in sports, we aren’t going to see the return of the season ticket as a primary way to get fans into the buildings.

If you look at the way that Budweiser and ABInBev are handling the shrinking market share of macrobrews by trying to buy up microbrew brands and fold them into the ABInBev tent without people realizing that this is happening, isn’t likely to be a long term plus.

Eventually, the people that care about what they drink are going to figure it out and find something else.

Information flows more freely, that’s changing the way that we have to deal with our customers.

In the past, it used to be enough to make a lot of assumptions and decisions for your customers and prospects because you were sure you knew better than everyone else.

That doesn’t work any longer.

The openness of the Internet has led to an environment where the customer is king and trying to treat them any other way is just a failure.