We are living in an information society and selling knowledge and services is seen as a future-proven business model.
It’s often said that access to information is a competitive advantage. We are living in an information society and selling knowledge and services is seen as a future-proven business model. But who will win the battle for the customers’ pockets?
Big is a winner
Big and powerful is still a good weapon. By taking care of the whole value chain in the biggest markets, making sure you are the prime contractor to the biggest companies is certainly a strategy that will work in the future. On the other hand, these big giants are slow movers, and as technology and user behavior change business models will also evolve—and a leading company (that might be somewhat fat and lazy) might not be agile enough to respond. But still, as they own the value chain, it will be very hard, if not possible to break through…in the short term.
Different is a winner
There is a strong wind of change blowing at the moment. So gaining a competitive edge requires not only understanding and knowing what’s happening, but actually being able to see where the wind is blowing before anyone else does. And when you’ve identified that, you need the skill to figure out how to make money on new technology, trends or user behavior—and have the guts to invest and execute on a strategy before it’s been proven to work.
Whoever you are, or strive to be—big or different—innovation and creativity are crucial. Getting hold of educated staff is easy; and thanks to the Internet, access to knowledge is a mere commodity nowadays. The winner is not the one who knows the most but the one who can generate and process the most and best ideas within the company to come up with new innovations—faster and cheaper than the competition.
I hope you’re not too disappointed that there wasn’t a list of steps 1-5 for how to win the battle for the customers’ pockets. I do think every company— actually every individual—can find out where we are acting big or different, and that it changes over time. Being a leader, it’s great, of course, to have the competitors playing catch-up, but there’s also a risk if you don’t look back now and then. They may have found a shortcut or a completely new track…and you are heading for the wall.
Trying to do things differently is always good; different in the sense of always thinking how to do things better, faster, more efficiently, cheaper, shorter, bigger, longer, lighter, heavier—having a mindset and a company culture of doing things differently in the future to better serve your customers.