The power of why

Why is the most important word in your vocabulary, that is if you want to create market driven products that actually create value for your customers through the resolution of their problems. What is the question that sales / customer driven businesses use. This means that the sale team ask their biggest customers “what do they want?”, this is customer driven as it is usually driven by a small handful of big customers, sales teams listen more to those that have greater leverage, and so they should.

Asking the what question does not necessarily mean you are solving the problem correctly, it only means you are giving the customer (not the market) what he / she wants. Doesn’t sound too bad really when you say it out loud, however, as Henry Ford once said; if he listened to his customers (asked What not Why) he would have breed faster horses.

What is the problem with your solution?

It is my contention that all value is customer determined and the additional benefit the customer perceives is when a product / service / solution resolves her / his problems, then and only then is value created. So you must always start with the problem! It is the core of your solution and it is where you must always start. Unfortunately a lot of today’s companies focus on THEIR solutions and not their customers problems.

How to use the SWOT Analysis tool

I have always liked the SWOT for its sheer simplicity. It’s a tool which allows any sized group of people to work together to identify what the next focus can be for the group. It encourages all members of the group to participate, is very easy to facilitate and usually ensures a high level buy-in from the participants.