Chapter 9. What They Need: Customer Visioneering

Customer wants and needs is a common phrase that is often heard and seldom understood. Most folks don’t know the difference. However, the winners do and if you want your firm to be a winner, then so must you. Because the difference is:

  • A customer “want” is something they expressly state as a desired outcome.

  • A customer “need” is the underlying value or benefit that drives their “wants.”

Here is an example: Athletes often want a cold beverage to quench their thirst. However, the underlying need is because they sweat to maintain a safe temperature and then must rehydrate to replenish lost liquids, vital electrolytes, and carbohydrates. For years, the beverage industry focused solely on the want: a thirst ...

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