Friday, May 1, 2009

Sometimes you have to ignore your customers!

Jensen Huang (Co-Founder of NVIDIA) has an interesting sight on Corporate Vision and the fact that you have to ignore the customer base in certain situations. That is when you are sure that your vision is so much stronger than that of your customers:

This is actually a good point and sometimes probably necessary to differentiate from competition. Risky, though, when you completely lose contact to the end-users.
For NVIDIA it worked out quite well. But as Jensen said, they were competing against 200 other graphics chips producers in the 90s, so differentiation is sometimes hard and might really lead to the ignorance of customers (for a while).

A CRM 2.0 strategy must not always mean that a business has to blindly follow what customers demand. Some products or services might not have an obvious business case (i.e. will not create immediate money), some might see no demand at the time you have to start developing them. Still they can deliver in the mid- or long-term if there is a strong vision behind it (and the vision fulfills).

A Revolution needs strong leadership and only a limited number of people are able to discover this in an early stage.

Apple is another good example where products are created with very little or no involvement of (potential) users. A very successful example as we all know… The question is do I really want to completely ignore customers? And if so, for how long?

I think executing on a strong vision does not mean that you have to lose contact with your customers. There are always some people out there that share the same vision. It’s all about finding these individuals and getting them into the boat. The connected (Web 2.0) world these times is a tremendous help here!

So CRM 2.0 is also about finding the right people out there and co-creating products and services with them. If done well, these customers will get real advocates for the brand.

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