What do high growth companies do differently? 02 Mar 2021

Here is a question ….

What do organisations with strong growth or have nailed how to disrupt their market do differently?

When you observe these organisations’ behaviours, they do two things well. They seek to understand their customers and they do it consistently. A lot of businesses are in the “average understanding” part of the 2 X 2 below.

Deep Understanding graphic

Over and over again you see organisations who nail their customer value propositions, engaging their customers to go on their journey and attracting them back over and over again.

What do these organisations have that is different to their competitors?

Without fail, we see that these organisations have invested in truly understanding their customers in a way that helps them know exactly when and how to engage with them, the exact problems their customers want to solve and how they should help solve them.

How do they do this? Don’t most organisations understand their customers?

When we talk to organisations about how well they understand their customers, they often tell us that they know what the problems are. They characterise their understanding as “pretty good”. This leaves them in the red zone.

The problem with only having a “pretty good” understanding of customers or generally knowing what the problems are, is that it’s not enough to know what exactly are the right things to do to get customers to truly engage.

At the same time, competitors who are experiencing strong growth can be found in the smaller green zone at the top right hand corner.

iceberg illustrating obvious and valuable insights

There are always hundreds of ideas floating around organisations about how to fix customers problems that have been issues for the organisation for years. If having a “pretty good” understanding of customers is enough, why haven’t they been fixed a long time ago?

Truly understanding customers, their drivers and needs is what is required to really be able to predict customer behaviours, answer their deep needs, know how you can help them overcome any obstacles that may stop them engaging with you, then making their journey with you as valuable as possible.

True understanding helps you to know exactly what you need to do to achieve all of these things because you have richer, deeper insights which your competition do not have.

Is your organisation stuck in the red zone with everyone else, doing regular types of research similar to what all of your competitors are undertaking?

So what are organisations in the green zone doing differently that is giving them this edge on growth in the market?

iceberg illustrating obvious and valuable insights

The answer is they approach their customers, and understanding them, with a deep level of curiosity.

They replace the idea that success will come by living in a world of certainty, conviction and inflexibility about the ways of the past with the idea that success can be attained by approaching problems with curiosity, open-mindedness and flexibility.

They accept that customers may not always behave in ways that seem rational to them, because customer behaviours are driven by other emotional overlays that can only be understood with research that digs deep enough to develop true empathy.

This approach turns customer understanding into a superpower.

When you have this, you can understand why your customers behave the way they do and design for it, answer the problems they are trying to solve and know what customers will truly value the most, rather than implementing ideas that you hope they’ll find valuable.

iceberg illustrating obvious and valuable insights

Over the last 13 years, we’ve developed a rigorous system for deep customer understanding and developing of insights that has been used across Australia and Europe, across multiple categories and industries.

Using the structured approach of Proto’s Customer Thinking Framework provides clarity by fitting these various pieces of the puzzle together to fully understand how your organisation’s actions impact your customer and feed into their actions and behaviours.

Using this approach makes it crystal clear what needs to occur or change immediately or in the shorter and longer terms to ensure you are engaging with your customers exactly how they need and want you to, in a way that will ensure they stay on your customer journey and return to transact with you time and again.

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