Your industry is likely to be influenced primarily by the developments in technology and the changes in the economic climate. By understanding how these key influencers are shaping your industry and ultimately your business, you will be able to predict and understand trends and developments for the future of your industry. For you, it is also important to understand where your business sits in the industry. Are you disruptive, challenging, repeating existing models or aligned to industry change?
Key areas for Thought:
• How are people thinking?
By understanding what people in your industry are thinking you will be able to gauge what is important to them and which aspects of your business should be emphasised as you move forward. The ‘people’ should cover everyone who is touched by your industry, namely, your consumers and by that we mean, people who will use your product or service and those that will pay for it, your competitors, your co-workers and the key influencers and opinion leaders who will shape your industry’s future. You should consider what is important to them, what their priorities will be and what may be concerning them about the industry and its development.
• How are people feeling?
Having a thorough understanding of how people in your industry are feeling will allow you to emotionally engage with them and build stronger, longer lasting relationships. Feelings may include fear or excitement about the future, confidence or nervousness about their role and a level of comfort or concern around the amount of change occurring in the industry.
• What is important?
This will help you understand not only what is important to your consumers but will also help you understand what should be at the core of your business. It will help you understand what aspects of your business should have the most emphasis, which elements of your product or service hold the most value and make your offering strongly aligned to your consumers needs.
• What is evolving?
By understanding what is evolving in your industry, you will be able to stay at the forefront of change. This will allow you to gain or maintain a competitor advantage or market share. It should position you as a thought leader in your industry and help you attract the interest of potential partners and journalists. Ultimately by understanding how the industry is changing, you will be able to keep your business relevant and valuable to your audiences.
• Why are things changing?
It is important for you to understand not only what is changing in the industry but why these things are changing. It is likely, for most industries, that the fundamental drivers of change will be technology and the economy. It is important for you to understand how they are affecting your industry and why they are creating change.
Determining your Business Position:
Y Axis, Rate of Change
If your industry is changing at a fast rate you should plot your business at the top of the Y axis. If your industry is changing slowly or not at all, you should plot your business at the bottom of the Y axis.
X Axis, Amount of Money in the Industry
If your industry has a large amount of money in it, you should plot your business at the far right of the X axis. If your industry doesn’t have much money it, you should plot your business on the left hand side of the Y axis.
Features, Advantages & Benefits:
It is essential for you to understand the industry in which you operate, not only to understand where you are placed in the industry and how the value you offer your consumers compares to that of other key players in your space, but also to understand how the expectations of consumers are changing and how this is affecting their behaviours.
The FAB approach to sales is a well established approach which has been used by countless dealmakers for years. Despite this, many people still struggle to clarify differences between a feature, advantage and benefit and as such, always lack a little precision around their proposition. This affects their level of consumer engagement and conversion.
As you go through the process of linking your features to the benefits they offer your users, you will be able to put your consumers at the core of your business, ensuring they extract the highest possible value from the product or service. In the long term, this user centric approach will improve the relationship you have with your consumers and the clarity of your proposition will speed up your consumers‟ decision making process, ultimately giving you a competitor advantage and market ownership.
Key areas for Thought:
Features: Objective facts or characteristics of your product or service.
• What is it that you are selling?
• What are the components of your product or service?
Advantages: Statements about what your product or service can do or the function it performs. Advantages are not directly linked to a specific customer need.
• What do your features offer your users (the people who are going to spend money)
• What made you create these features?
• Why are they important?
Benefits: Benefits are statements which explicitly demonstrate how your products or service meets the needs of your users. The more related the benefits are to the specific need of the users, the more powerful your message will be.
• What do the advantages mean for your clients?
• How will the advantages affect your clients work day?
• How will the advantages make your clients feel?
• How will the advantages make your clients look to their peers/seniors?
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