When coffee competes with kale

The idea of waking up early and sitting down at your desk with a fragrant cappuccino early, knowing what needs to be done that day and what you need to move to gives an energetic feeling in itself. While the day has not even started you drink your cappuccino with abandon, the day could not wish for a better start. A recognizable image?

Like many other people, I have a cappuccino morning ritual. It provides an extra boost in the morning. ‘boost’ in de ochtend. Just the thought of the smell puts a smile on my face. My coffee supplier is only too happy about it. It gets him a loyal customer. My 'coffee man' loves his job. He ensures that I never miss out, the quality of the coffee is top notch, which justifies a higher price. He keeps a close eye on his coffee competitors and immediately adjusts his offer when necessary. No big deal for my coffee guy. Or ... is there?

Far too often we look to our traditional competitors. Because that's how we think, if our competition does better then customers will walk away. Because of this view, we only have eyes for our competitors. As long as we are cheaper, or can deliver faster, or our product just has more features, or has better features only then can we withstand the competition. But what if your arguments do not appeal to the motives of your customers? That your arguments do not contribute to a purchase by your customer?

Without understanding the motivations of your customers, you are staring at a dense fog in the dark. You simply don't know where your customer is moving. If your customer chooses to start the morning fresh and fruity so that he can have a healthy start to the day, suddenly the familiar cup of cappuccino no longer fits into the morning ritual. Instead, a healthy smoothie based on fruit and kale is on the menu in the morning. Suddenly coffee is competing with kale, something you never expected. It shows once again that preference for a particular product is based on customer motivations. Working with the Job stories method helps to gain a better insight.

The advice is to look less at your selection. Make sure you have a good insight into the motivations of your customers. With the right insight, you can quickly and sufficiently help your customers achieve their goals. Only then will there be a real competitive advantage. Without a distinctive product, all other commercial activities are purely cosmetic in nature.

Ruud Olijve

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