Customers Love Us … Now What?
The purpose of any business is to add some value, in some way, to someone or something outside of itself. However, organizations ultimately exist to satisfy customers and earn revenue from them. A business simply cannot survive—let alone thrive—unless it is also able to generate sufficient funds to pursue future innovations, repay and reward investors, or support social and environmental initiatives. So, how should an organization, independent of shape, size, or orientation, think about “making money?” In this presentation, I lay out a simple framework that rests on one basic premise: a business cannot improve its ability to earn from customers unless its decisions and actions are guided by customers—what they value, why they value it, when and how they value it, and so on. While this logic is intuitive, in practice it often loses out to seemingly safer, certainly easier approaches that prioritize internal considerations.
Competing on Customer Outcomes
Listen Closely: Your Algorithms Are Talking to Your Customers
In June 2017, London police cars responded to reports of a terrorist attack. Pedestrians and pub-goers in the area sensed danger and attempted to order Uber cars to head home to safety. Uber’s dynamic pricing algorithm caused rates in that part of the city to jump more than 200%. While an economist might applaud Uber’s pricing engine, I argue that constant changes in price points can negatively impact brand perception, so they need to be carefully managed. In this presentation, based on my Harvard Business Review article “The Pitfalls of Pricing Algorithms,” I show why brands need to consider more than simple math when employing algorithmic systems. I further help leaders across industries—including advertising, e-commerce, entertainment, insurance, sports, travel and utilities—minimize risk and maximize revenue while also making customers feel as if they have paid the appropriate amount for a product or service.
Can We Afford Sustainable Business?
Selling Value to Customers
The success of a revenue strategy often depends on your ability to communicate value to customers in a convincing manner. Indeed, I would argue that price is seldom a problem when the value of an offering is clearly understood by sellers and buyers alike. In this presentation, I discuss the complications that often arise when an organization attempts to sell value in a market plagued by customers that, for strategic reasons or otherwise, push back. To remedy the situation, I recommend taking five clear steps. Implementing this roadmap provides a sense of calibration and confidence that helps fight off the pressure from skeptical, stubborn clients and prospects. In my mind, organizations that “stay calm and sell value” are better equipped to capitalize on their efforts to stand out in the market, particularly when innovation and creativity are fast-paced and expensive.