Understanding the Escalator
Clive Turner, Manager, United Kingdom
The rule is 'first to market wins
'. Anyone else in the same market can only be a 'me too' player.
Understanding the expectations of a customer in your market, and how competitors are meeting/missing those expectations in comparison with your own business performance can identify the opportunity to stay ahead.
Any idea is only 'new' for a short time, and then everyone else starts to join in. Soon, if you don't do it, you are disadvantaged. This is the escalator, always moving down (Ron Kaufman) which is why businesses must always step up - but where?
Customer Satisfaction allows understanding of opportunity, and hence delivers the POTENTIAL for competitive advantage if the business listens to it's customers.
Sometimes, it might be necessary to 'listen between the lines' to surprise the customer and gain the 'first to market' leadership position.