The importance of what’s not going to change

2020 saw many changes that few predicted.  Pandemics, lock downs, political instability, Capitol riots, Brexit, Megxit… to name a few.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon has this to say about change:

“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time … in our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible. […] When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

Interesting thought.

In general, I agree with Jeff that customers will want lower prices, faster delivery, and greater selection.  Unless the tradeoff becomes too high, for example the emissions and carbon footprint cannot be justified, or the ethics are doubtful.  Climate change and social justice will become more important.

Customers will also continue to want quality, value, service, convenience, reliability, trust, customer experience, sustainability, a sense of community/belonging, feeling cared for and respected.

Your business growth plan should consider what is not going to change in your own business and target market over the next 10 years. Will you compete on price/value, service, convenience, reliability/trust, quality, or the myriad of other things that customers also want? Remember, we can’t be all things to all people!

Once you identify your planned competitive advantage(s) which likely won’t change, then you can design your tactics (which may change over time).

Register here for Q2’s “Planning for Growth” webinar at 2pm on 3 March 2021 to kick start your business in 2021.

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