We are becoming increasingly aware that commoditization is here to stay for at least the next decade or two. When a product online is half the price it is here in Australia – why wouldn’t I buy it from overseas? Local suppliers must price match or prepare to watch their business sink to the bottom. Or do they?

In the western world, we enjoy a high standard of education but with this comes higher labour costs. We struggle to compete with other countries that pay their workers a quarter of the price, so logically, we have to charge more.

We often see businesses who simply do it ‘better’ – dominate the market and maintain good margins. Doing it better means using the education we pay for and using our capability to understand and fulfill customers’ needs. These days, survival isn’t about simply providing a similar product, leave that to the copycats in the world, but is about creating a product that exceeds all customer expectations.

We are aware that the western world is continually being followed by emerging markets as their hunger for all things western continues to grow. However, as long as we stay ahead in Customer Experience we will have a favourable rating. How? We must all start to walk in the customer’s shoes – turn your business inside out. Make your sole focus to provide the customer with what they want, at a fair price. Let’s stop supplying them with consumables they don’t want at bargain prices, there is no margin. I mean, have you ever given your child a boxed gift for Xmas, only to find the box is more interesting to the child than the gift inside?

We quickly learn that the quality of an item is long remembered after the price is forgotten, we need to stay focused on creating quality products. For example, my farm needed a 4WD two-seater ATV. I looked at Polaris at $15,000 and settled on a no-name from China at $4000. Wrong. It had completed 250km (not 250,000) before I took it to the tip.

Being relevant to the customer means listening to their needs, R&D and implement new products or services to meet those needs. How can you listen? Talk to me about that. The solution exists for under $5000 for a whole year.


Mark Horwood,

Captivate Connect CEO