Are you worn out by the frenzied pace of change in our new “whateveryouwannacallit” economy? Are you puzzled and aggravated by your suddenly impotent marketing and sales efforts? Do you spend sleepless nights wondering when the US economy will bounce back and raise your boat (along with everyone else's)?

Well, you can stop wondering. Fundamental shifts in commerce and consumer psychology have permanently changed the competitive landscape for years to come.

The problem, or course, is one of abundance: abundance of information, abundance of ideas, and abundance of technology. This wealth of opportunity has resulted in too many companies chasing too few, very well-informed customers. The consequent shift in power has put some serious hurt on even the most “customer-centric” companies as they struggle to understand the new value equation of these turbulent times.

Well, here it is. A simple Theory of Everything in Business: in an oversupplied economy, customer feelings drive purchase decisions and profitability.

Are you competing in a market category oversupplied with interchangeable products or services? Can customers easily (remember, this is subjective) switch from you to a competitor and get just about the same benefits? Do you find yourself frequently competing on price?

Welcome to the feelings economy, where planning what to make and how to market has changed dramatically—and permanently.

It used to make sense to pay attention to your industry and benchmark your direct competitors. It used to be enough to learn and diligently apply the latest sales and marketing tactics and techniques. It used to be prudent to treat business like war and try to kill your competitors.

But not any longer. It should be apparent to you by now that the status quo is not working.

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Tom Asacker is a professional speaker, management adviser, and author of the new book, The Business of Belief: How the World's Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe.

Twitter: @TomAsacker

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