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Customer Need: A Key Element For The Success Of Company

1336 words - 6 pages

Customer Need: A Key Element for the Success of Company

As Doyle (1994, p.39) mentioned, consumers can choose the product they want that makes the competitors try to attract more consumers from each other. It suggests that customers play an important role in marketing. If a company wants to win the competition, it might need to put consumers at the first place, meet the needs of consumer more effectively (Doyle, 1994, p.39). The famous article ‘Marketing Myopia’ written by Levitt (2004) suggests that the production of a company should based on consumer needs is what marketing tries to do. Disregard of consumer needs may makes the company face some challenges and hard to win in the market. ...view middle of the document...

Not focusing on consumer needs may make it difficult for a company to maintain its product sales. Levitt (2004) indicates that the difference between selling and marketing is, selling just tries to attract consumers to buy the products of the company, but marketing tries to guide the company to produce the product customers needed. The failure of the Ford’s Model T is an example. This kind of car only has one color black, although Henry Ford cut down its cost that lead to a lower price, its sales still declined and finally halted, because one color cannot satisfy consumer need for various color appearance of their cars (Levitt, 2004). And Doyle (1994, p.41) also suggests that consumers may be fooled to buy a product once, but it will not be a long term relationship between customers and the company only by selling. It may easy to attract people to buy one kind of product by fascinating advertisement or the strong recommendation of salesperson, but as Doyle (1994, p.43) states, what consumers want is to satisfy their needs rather than to buy a product. One of the most important reasons why consumers buy one kind of product repeatedly might be they need this product. For instance, people are willing to spend money on gasoline not because they love it, but because they need it for their car (Levitt, 2004). Therefore, to retain customers, a company should produce its product which can satisfy consumer needs.

It may be hard for a company to occupy a beneficial position in the market for a long period if the company neglect consumer needs. It means that focusing on consumer needs in a short period is not enough or even neglecting it. It is a long-term strategy for a company. Consumers have different needs in different period. Levitt (2004) gives an example of dry cleaning, at the age of clothing made of wool, dry cleaning boomed, but it declined with the rise of synthetic fibers and chemical additives that people cut their needs for dry cleaning. This example shows that with the development of clothing material, the need of consumer changed, the service dry cleaning did not meet the need of consumer anymore that result in the recession. Therefore, companies should change or improve their products or services base on the change of consumer needs.

However, overemphasizing on consumer current needs may bring some negative effects to a company. First of all, it may make a company be shortsighted in the market and only tries to satisfy short-term and material needs of consumer. In other words, the strategy the company set which based on the current needs of consumer may be a short-term strategy, and it may be not suitable for the long-term development of the company. IBM was the dominator in the mainframe market, but it lost when minicomputers were born, because it thought most of its consumers were not need the minicomputers immediately (Bower and Christensen, 1995). Emphasizing too much on current needs sometimes mislead the development of a...

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