Fulfilling Unmet Customer Needs

February 27, 2017

As part of your Strategic Thinking sessions when discussing your three year goals, you want to spend time on the question, "What products and/or services do we want and/or need to be selling by December 31, 2019?” This will help you identify whether you are fulfilling unmet customer needs. To get more specific, there are several overarching questions to consider: 

  • What is the current state of our products? 
  • Who are our most profitable customers and why are they buying from us?
  • What more can we provide our customers to get them to pay more? What is valuable to our customers? (i.e., willing to pay a premium) 
  • What do we know about the emerging or latent demands that apply to customers in our industry? Emerging demand reflects needs that are just beginning to be articulated – those held by a small but growing segment. Latent demand sits "outside the box" – it comprises unrealized needs that have yet to be articulated by customers, yet are potentially disruptive and highly transformational.

Getting answers to these questions takes time, but once you have them, ask yourself, "What’s the gap between where we are today and where we want and/or need to be by December 31, 2019 as it relates to fulfilling unmet customer needs?” The answer will help you plan some of your strategic chess moves in 2017, '18 and '19.  

Over the last month, we've discussed the importance of Strategy to discover who, what, and where you want your company to be in three years. If you need help identifying your chess moves or planning out your quarterly goals, let me know.