There are so many little things that corporate leaders ignore. Just take a look at the following industries and you can see many blind spots. Some examples of old truths that are still unchallenged to date are:
 
·  In the retail banking industry, the idea still holds there can be no fun and enjoyable experience while inside a retail bank.
·  In the supermarket industry, shoppers have no choice except to use carts.
·  For the bicycle industry, the saddle is still a one piece thing, as it is modeled after a horse saddle.
·  For men's clothing, pants' back pockets intended to hold wallets continue to be the norm even when they cause discomfort when sitting.
·  In the mobile phone industry, many value-added services (VAS) continue to be incorporated when over 90% of existing VAS are not being used.
·  For the HR practitioner, putting an age limit of 35 years old for salesmen when the more productive salespeople have greater connections and networks after age 35.
·  In Philippine airports, queueing is still needed after check-in just to pay for terminal fees.
·  In Congress, more and more proposed laws are churned out.
 
We can go on and on but the point is opportunities for innovation are everywhere. Blind spots happen due to lack of insight or new truths. This can be corrected when we increase our awareness, network with people with different backgrounds, and ask questions regularly that challenge conventional wisdom.
 
For example:
·  In the retail banking industry, can the ambience be friendlier and more design-focused? Can bankers be less formal, less threatening and be more approachable?
·  In the supermarket industry, can shoppers push carts with removable baskets to make shopping more efficient in select parts of the store?
·  For the bicycle industry, can the saddle be redesigned to support our two bottom parts?
·  For men's clothing, can the back pockets be turned into side pockets to remove any discomfort when seated?
·  In the mobile phone industry, can prices be based on specific value-added services (VAS) used instead of paying for many features one doesn't need?
·  For the HR practitioner, can lessons be learned from network marketing companies where recruiting of distributors is based on one's future goals and passion and not based on historical achievements?
·  In Philippine airports, can terminal fees be paid upon the purchase of ticket instead of having to queue after checking in?
·  In Congress, can citizens be rewarded based on uncovering laws that are neither relevant nor user-friendly?
 
Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. uses a proprietary tool called BIDA (barriers, irritants, disappointments and annoyances) Check-Up. It is a gap analysis tool that helps uncover activities and practices that cause deep- seated customer dissatisfaction. This tool is taught in Market-Driving Strategy executive coaching or executive workout sessions to help companies turn hurdles into opportunities like those listed above. New opportunities should not just improve customer satisfaction and enhance a firm's value proposition for its customers and consumers but also improve its value chain in its internal operations.
 
It is not enough for firms to formulate a value proposition for customers, but to ensure a corresponding innovation in a value chain or business system internally that can help carry out the value proposition and create greater but more sustainable wealth for the firm.
 
Josiah Go is chairman and chief marketing strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc., (www.mansmith.net), the leading marketing and sales training company in the Philippines. For inquiries, please e-mail info@mansmith.net, call 584-5858/412- 0034 or text 0918-811-6888.


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