Greetings. It's important to have great products, services, and solutions. And, to be passionate about the value that your offerings provide to customers. But it's even more important to offer the right solution in meeting customer needs. Because almost every "need" or "problem" has more than one answer. This is an important fact of life for almost every company and organization that I've had the privilege to work with. And it's also a critical consideration in developing and implementing an effective business strategy.
This topic hit home in a humorous way last week when our children and I were reading the May issue of Consumer Reports in a quick effort to get advice on the best low-cost gas grill to purchase. Skimming the magazine's pages we came across an article titled "Baldness Remedies." And it caused quite a laugh among some of us. If you know me, or have ever noticed the totally handsome pictures of me on the side of this blog, you know that I am–to use a slightly clever scientific term–"follically" or "follicularly challenged." It's a quirk of nature and apparently a gift from my maternal grandfather who arrived in this country in the early 1900's with a dream, a single suitcase, little or no money, and even less hair. Not that I choose to do anything about it. Because in my worldview it's simply an important, logical, and lower maintenance step in our ongoing evolution to becoming a much more sophisticated life form.
But some people take balding very seriously and, according to Consumer Reports, fifty percent of men in their survey attempt to "mask their hair loss" in one of seven different ways. Here's a list along with an assessment of their effectiveness:
Technique (% responding that it was "very" or "somewhat" effective)
- Wear a wig or toupee (65%)
- Shave head (46%)
- Dress better (46%)
- Exercise to improve physique (44%)
- Change hair style (43%)
- Use products that make hair look thicker (38%)
- Cover head more often (30%)
Based on this study, one might determine that hair loss is an opportunity for:
- Wig makers
- Gillette, other razor manufacturers, and barbers
- Clothing designers
- Health clubs
- Comb, hairbrush, and gel producers
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Hat retailers
- Or, no one
And, you'd be right. It all depends on the customer, their assessment of the need or problem, and their understanding of the right answer or the best set of possible answers.
We win in business by loving what we provide…but only when it really is the right solution for those we choose to serve. What's the equivalent of hair loss in your world? And, what part of the answer are you and your colleagues willing to play.