Five Ways To Win The Consumer Of 2030, Now
CEO India|February 2020
To win the data and technology-enabled “smart consumer” of tomorrow, discover the five things every consumer-facing business must do right now
Kristina Rogers And Andrew Cosgrove

The leaders of every consumer-facing business recognise the need for transformation. Otherwise, their organisations risk becoming irrelevant to the changing consumer. Most are taking action, but they need to be bolder. They need to accelerate and redirect their efforts so they can move beyond protecting the business they have and put more focus on creating the business they need to become.

The five key imperatives set out below will help leaders reshape their organisations so they can generate value for the data- and technology-enabled “smart consumer” of tomorrow. They are drawn from our on-going collaboration with over 200 business leaders, futurists, and industry experts to model a 360-degree view of the future consumer and how their needs could change in a variety of “future world” scenarios.

FIVE KEY IMPERATIVES TO WIN THE FUTURE CONSUMER

1. Challenge every assumption: Shift your business model from incremental improvement to exponential change. Today, most companies are trying to protect a legacy of competitive advantage by leveraging their scale and finding incrementally better ways to do what they do already. But the degree and accelerating pace of consumer changes are turning heritage into baggage as trusted capabilities lose relevance.

A bolder shift requires vision and speed. Agile market entrants are using technology and new routes to market to shred incumbent business models. It took Halo Top just six years to become a best-selling ice cream brand. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reminds his shareholders every year that, as far as he’s concerned, the company is at day one, every day. And as Peter Drucker said, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

The successful products and services of the future likely don’t exist today. Consumers will expect more transparency, personalisation, and connectivity than is currently possible. Brands do not define consumers, they are defined by consumers; product cycles flex in real-time to meet hyper-fluid changes in taste; and consumers use baseline designs to become co-creators.

Leaders need to reinvent their business, but very few have the opportunity to abandon everything that’s diminishing in value and move forward with only what they need. The strategic challenge is to address three requirements: maximise the declining benefits of existing business models to fund transformation; build on current capabilities in ways that drives new business models for the medium term; and create new capabilities that enable a pivot into new opportunities.

2. Choose your tribe: Focus your purpose on the stakeholders who matter to your business. Consumer-facing companies love to put purpose at the heart of strategic presentations. That wouldn’t have been the case a few years ago; leaders today know that defining and articulating a sense of purpose is an essential part of engaging consumers and talent. But most organisations articulate a purpose today that is well-intentioned yet too broad to give them any advantage in the future worlds we are modeling.

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