chapter 4 listening to the consumer makes your business homogeneous

When a consumer wants or needs a good or service, they don't think about the brand, but the category. If their car is always at the mechanics, they'll think about getting a new car, not a particular brand of car. If a family discovers their fridge isn't big enough, they'll think about buying a bigger fridge, rather than a particular brand of fridge. The category comes first, followed by the brand. The more you listen to the consumer, the more you understand the category. But if you're not careful, you begin to behave like everyone else in the category. It's the main reason so many brands within a category look and feel increasingly similar over time. Each brand draws on the same consumer needs and meets those needs in their respective brand offering. The more prolonged the existence of the category, and the longer the brand is within that category, the more homogenised it becomes.

Further, these days it's common to give everyone a say. Ideas are circulated for ‘builds' and ‘input'. But asking many people for input invariably leads to a regression towards the mean and ultimately, homogenisation.

Listen to Forrester. CX is dangerous

There's an unnecessary amount of attention given to customer experience (CX) and putting the customer first, and we see a massive homogenisation of brands already across many categories. Even those smart people at the international research agency Forrester agree. It's not an understatement ...

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