9. What They Need: Solutions

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.

A customer want is something customers expressly state as a desired outcome. A customer need is the underlying value or benefit that drives the wants and provides a powerful lever for loyalty to the firm that understands and fulfills it. For example, athletes often want a cold beverage to quench their thirst. However, their underlying need is that they sweat to maintain a safe temperature and then must rehydrate to replenish lost liquids, vital electrolytes, and carbohydrates. For years, the beverage industry ...

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