Facebook, Uber, Snapchat, Apple. These are the companies screaming innovation in the digital age, and unless you’ve been hiding underneath a rock, there’s a good chance that at least one of the above mentioned have had a significant impact on your life.
But here’s the thing – none of these companies are producing brand new ideas. Think about it. Apple’s iPod? An awesome MP3 player? Snapchat? A cool new way to send and share photo and video. Even Facebook at its core, a way to connect with family and friends, is an evolution of MSN Messenger and MySpace.
Essentially, these companies are just taking age-old concepts, reinventing the wheel, and using their product to solve problems in more efficient and innovative ways. They have such a huge initial impact and rapid rise to popularity that we tend to forget the origin of the idea as well as the predated products or services we were using. In some cases, we can no longer imagine a life without these products or services.
Uber may well be the transportation industry’s biggest 21st Century game changer. But while the groundbreaking rideshare service is super innovative and unique in nature, it is just a reinvention of an age-old service.
The secret behind Uber’s success is not in developing a brand new service, but rather, taking an existing service and making it a whole lot better.
If you’ve caught a few taxis in your time, you will be well aware of the pitfalls: taxis can be extremely hard to organise, taxi fares are often overpriced, and at times, the taxi experience can feel very impersonal and uncomfortable.
Uber essentially provides an identical service with far fewer pitfalls. On top of this, it integrates itself more seamlessly with changing digital trends.
We’ve all heard the “think like the customer” mantra far too many times, but it really is the key to establishing, maintaining and growing any successful business or product.
Uber wasn’t created following years of extensive market research. No, two guys (Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp) were having trouble hailing a cab one night. That’s how it all started. They were literally standing in the customers shoes.
A number of clever, unique selling points have fuelled Uber’s success. But it’s certainly not rocket science; it’s 110% complete customer empathy and understanding. Do you enjoy waiting on the phone for ten minutes trying to order a cab? Do you enjoy freezing out the front of your house waiting for your cab to arrive? Do you enjoy waiting ten, twenty, thirty minutes in the cab line after a long night? Do you enjoy having awkward, uncomfortable conversations with an unhappy cab driver? I don’t.
If you own a business or plan on owning a business in the future, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. It sounds so simple, but it’s the name of the game. What sucks about the current situation?
Too often, it takes a major disruption to the status quo before we realise just how bad and inefficient a product or service really is. Regardless of the industry type, there’s an opportunity to take a step back, identify the pitfalls, and remodel your business to focus on complete customer empowerment.
Many business owners find themselves too close to their prescribed product or service to identify the major industry weaknesses.
Surf Pacific is a digital marketing agency specialising in profit growth. We help businesses and business owners maximise and amplify their marketing efforts, outplay competitors, and increase bottom line earnings by taking the most efficient path.
Through gaining an in-depth understanding of our clients’ industry pitfalls, we have been able to help businesses of all shapes and sizes dramatically increase their customer base, while building long-term customer loyalty.