Many companies seeking growth, must first overcome a great force for evil – “Product Gravity”.
Product Gravity acts like like a big black hole that draws all the company resources into itself. It becomes the raison d’être. The sole focus of the company. Sales reps begin to chant its praises. Manufacturing worships it. Finance throws offerings at its feet. Employees define themselves by it, “We are keepers of the Widget.” Soon, it becomes all consuming.
This great force blinds a companies executives to what their customers really desire. It causes the company to miss market opportunities, yield share to competitors, and loose their grip on valued customer relationships. Ultimately, this death star pulls the company from profitability and into a spiral of doom.
The only thing that can save the company is the Bright Star of customer focus.
The Bright Star reminds us that products were meant to be the servants of customers. That their only reason for existence is to increase the wealth, the safety, the efficiency, and a 100 other needs of customers. The Bright Star is where growth driving insights are found. It’s where the new growth of the business will come from. It is the fount of competitive advantage.
How do you escape this death star’s gravity?
Simply start talking with your customers about THEIR business – not yours. Don’t be like the narcissistic friend who says, “Enough about me, What do you think of me.”
Start asking your customers about their goals, their dreams. Ask them about their biggest challenges. Ask them to rank the challenges by priority. Do this without asking about your product or areas of their business or life your product or service impacts.
You are getting to know them, the complex network of needs, wants, desires, problems and challenges that occupy their mind.
Only when you have this broader perspective, start narrowing your questions to areas that your product impacts. Ask them what the don’t like about your product or service.
And on and on…
When I work with companies, I know they are in the Product Gravity’s grip when they say they have never once surveyed their customers.
Asking your customers about their world is the only anecdote that will break you free from the Product Gravity Death Star in your own world.
Right now, both forces are battling for the mind and soul of your company. Which will you let claim victory?