Look outside as well as inside your industry

There is a need to study what goes on outside the business, ie non-customers. As Peter Drucker (2001) states, over 50% of technological breakthroughs that affect an industry come from outside that industry, eg commercial paper and computers (including ATMs and Internet), all have revolutionised the banking industry, yet none was developed by this industry. Similarly, molecular quality and genetic engineering were not developed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Thus knowing as much as possible about one's customers is important, but the first signs of fundamental change rarely appear within one's own organisation or among one's own customers. The people who are not buying almost always reveal those first signs.

Remember:

"...It is hard to be a market leader if you do no more than listen to your customers..."

Gary Hamel & CK Prahalad as quoted by Kriegel et al, 1996

 

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