How to make the most of a consumer-controlled world.
I was coming home from a family vacation a few weeks ago and looking for a place to eat on the road with my family. After much debate, we finally voted on Blaze Pizza, a place I had never been to before.
I was beyond impressed with my experience. They took care of our children’s picky eating habits and allowed everyone to fully customize their own pizza (even with extra meat, all for the same price!). After ordering, the waiter looked at me and said, “Does your pizza look great?” Only after I responded in the affirmative did they put it in the oven, making sure I was getting exactly what I wanted. And a few minutes later, we were all eating a delicious lunch. No compromise, no extra charges and no force-feeding needed.
This is just one example of the shifting tide we’re seeing in the marketplace in the 21st century. Consumers now have more control than ever. We no longer have to wait for an annoying drive-time DJ to queue up our favorite song, because we can play it anytime we want on Spotify. We don’t have to be home right at 8:00 to catch our favorite sitcom, because we can stream it 24/7 on Netflix. Everything is customized to fit our exact needs these days. Fezzari Bicycles’ 23-point custom setup is a perfect example of this. Blaze Pizza is another. And the list goes on and on. So how do brands survive in this environment? Here are a few tips:
- Be accessible. Let consumers reach out to you on their terms, not yours.
- Facilitate, don’t force. Help guide consumers and make them feel confident in their choices, but don’t make decisions for them.
- Focus on user experience. Remove any obstacles that slow down or limit consumers. Convenience is key.
Hopefully these guidelines will help you better cater to your newly empowered, all-powerful modern consumers.