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The Intuitive Customer - Helping You Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

Dec 11, 2021

Fernando has a problem that he wants our help solving. In his industry of branding and packaging fast-moving consumer goods, his clients often tell him to do whatever the competition is doing. However, Fernando knows that while imitation is the highest form of flattery, it’s a less than ideal customer strategy when you want to win customers from the competition. 

In this episode, we explore Fernando’s business problem, aka Pickle, for our, “I’m in a Pickle” segment of the podcast. We discuss the challenges surrounding competitive differentiation as well as the psychological theories from the behavioral sciences that can help guide the customer strategy. Not surprisingly, it takes standing out from everybody else to fit in with customers. 

Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience

Human beings are social. From an evolutionary point of view, our social natures is tied into survival. Those that were part of the pack had a better chance of living out the day than individuals going it alone. 

Without the same threats today that we might have faced in the past, our social nature persists. Sometimes, this natural inclination is a good thing. However, when the need to fit in influences our decisions in the marketplace, it becomes a problem. Moreover, things like “best practices” can get in the way of creative approaches to deliver experiences. A critical part of any organization’s customer strategy and competitive differentiation is to find a way that you are different from the pack and communicate it. The behavioral sciences explain why this is challenging—and also why it works.  

Here are a few key moments in the discussion:

  • 03:54  Ryan kicks off the discussion of three influential concepts, Risk Aversion, Loss Aversion and Social Proof, that describe why differentiation can be challenging for Fernando’s customers.    
  • 07:06  We explain why adopting best practices and following the leaders in the marketplace is not a great long-term strategy.    
  • 08:29  Colin shares a story demonstrating a concept called optimal distinctiveness about buying a popular car, but ensuring that his was “just a bit” different, so his car stood out from the others.    
  • 15:56  We bring it back to Fernando’s problem to talk about how to balance the need for conformity with the desire to achieve optimal distinctiveness.    
  • 18:49  Ryan explains where we got the term for Top-Shelf liquor and how that relates to Fernando’s problem.  
  • 21:48  We explain that appealing to customers requires a practical understanding what those target customers want, and using those values in the experience design.    
  • 24:35  Colin shares his advice on what Fernando, and anyone else having a problem with competitive differentiation, can do to overcome their risk aversion and employ a winning customer strategy.  


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Customer Experience Information & Resources

LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the 'World's Top 150 Business Influencers.' As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University. 

Why Customers Buy: As an official "Influencer" on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 22,000 subscribers. 

Experience Health Check: You already have an experience, even if you weren't deliberate about it. Our Experience Health Check can help you understand what you have today. Colin or one of our team can assess your digital or physical Customer Experience, interacting with your organization as a customer to define what is good and what needs improving. Then, they will provide a list of recommendations for critical next steps for your organization. Click here to learn more. 

How can we help?

Click here to learn more about Beyond Philosophy's Suite of Services.