Recognise market opportunities by creating difference and value
It’s time to discover uniqueness in a growing marketplace of products built to sell, when they should be made to matter.
Challenge the status quo just like these companies did and do.
In 1979, Xerox invited Steve Jobs to look at new technologies that were being developed and one of those technologies was improving upon what we now know as the mouse. The mouse would be a means for a more intuitive and user friendly experience when using a computers interface instead of writing coded commands.
That mouse was going to cost customers a staggering $300 a pop. However, Steve Jobs didn’t see this as an affordable consumer product and he took it back to a design consultant to build a mouse for less than $15.
Instead of pondering over features and how the mouse would function, he simply wanted to consider what the mouse would mean to computer users then, and those in the future. He was excited about what it would enable people to do, how it’d impact their lives and make their day to day tasks easier (especially when computer commands were coded and not at the click of a button.)
When the first Apple Macintosh launched in 1984 it changed everything.
It was a personal computer with a graphical user interface and a mouse. Steve Jobs wasn’t just an innovator, he could see where to make a difference and how to create value for Apple’s market. It was his empathy for and understanding of people, and their need for technology to work hard for them that truly made Apple products exceptional.
Dollar Shave Club
Michael Dubin founded the Dollar Shave Club because he was fed up of the frustrations that came from using and buying disposable razor heads. High costs mixed with irritating buying processes led him to create an online service where razors were sent direct to the customer's door for a $1.
Gillette dominated the market for consumer packaged goods, but DSC became masters of telling a story - why their razors are great and why they should be chosen. DSC's marketing was straightforward and honest from the get-go, and with one YouTube video that went viral, DSC had 12,000 subscribers within the first day of marketing.
People were excited with what they were doing, consumers loved the brand and they easily gained loyalty from the masses. 5 years on and they have 3.2million subscribers.
Why? They care about how people experience their product, from first impression to first touch, it’s all about the end experience. A simple subscription service that sends cartridge razors direct to the consumers door, with no fuss, no hassle and no forgetting about picking up new blades (which is easily done.) As well as dominating the US market, they’ve now arrived in the UK too.
Bart Kuppens, European General Manager, Dollar Shave Club said that it’s the “Most exclusive club in an inclusive manner”. To be part of DSC is to be part of a company that puts their customers first and creates products that matter, so people can be the best versions of themselves.
In 2007 BrewDog started with two employees, a dog and zero bars. Martin and James were bored of industrially brewed lagers and ales that dominated the UK market, so they did something about it. Ten years later with over 1,000 employees (still just one dog) and 46 bars worldwide, they’re celebrating the decade of the dog and have made a commitment to change the way they do business.
BrewDog is an alternative company which is owned by its shareholders. Over 70,000 “Equity Punks” make up a community of people who love craft beer as much as the founders of BrewDog do.
They didn’t just create a craft beer that people know and love - they opened up the opportunity for their community to have a piece of the pie and share in the company's growth. They’ve realised the potential of craft beer around the world from selling it to brewing it and opening dedicated BrewDog hotels.
It’s a craft beer for the people. They ensured their community mattered and that they were valued when it came to the growth and stability of their business.
Making a difference counts
People aren’t looking to buy features anymore. They want assurance. They want a guarantee. They want to know how your product is going to make a difference in their lives and be of value. They no longer want much of the same, but something remarkable for them.
The key to making a difference is creating something that changes the way people feel about your product, service or brand. Make them a promise and keep to it.