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Two Ways to Be Indispensable to Your Customers

September 8, 2010  
"One of the truly jarring dimensions of the Great Recession is the death sentence it has imposed on hundreds of brands, even whole companies, that were once familiar parts of the business landscape," writes Bill Taylor in a post at the Harvard Business Review blog.

In this economic environment, Taylor says, there is one question every business should be asking itself on a regular basis: "If we went out of business, would anyone miss us?"

He can think of only a few reasons customers might mourn the loss of your company. Here are two:

Your nearest competitors don't—or can't—offer a truly comparable alternative. "BMW falls into this camp," Taylor notes, "maybe Ritz-Carlton and Emirates Airlines. But really, how many products or services do you know for which this is true?" In most cases, he reasons, customers are able to find an acceptable replacement.


Customers feel a strong emotional connection to your brand. "That is," he clarifies, "a relationship based not just on the economic value it has to offer, but the values with which it conducts itself." Companies like Apple and HBO fall into this category of "passion" brands—products, services and entities that inspire what Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi terms "loyalty beyond reason."

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  • by Tom Tue Oct 26, 2010 via web

    Good reminder to be sure one is relevant and different. Push forward.

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