Big Tech is Coming for Your Industry
Today, many brands are facing new competitive threats from big tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple (FAMGA) as well as retail giants like Walmart. Big tech has been taking serious steps to enter new industries ranging from health insurance to healthcare, financial services, grocery, and automotive. This may become a critical challenge for established industry brands, but it can also be taken as an opportunity to re-evaluate your brand’s commitment to CX excellence. While brands can’t control emerging competitive threats, they are in control of their CX improvement efforts. Ultimately, a brand’s best defense against big tech coming for your industry is to double down on CX. Marketing research can help by uncovering unmet consumer needs, ways to enhance digital experiences, and opportunities to broaden services.
Big Corporation Cross-Industry Activities
- Banking & Finance
- Health Insurance
Pinpoint Competitive Strengths
As with any competitive review, gaining a thorough understanding of a competitor’s core strengths relative to your own brand is the best place to start. At first glance, big tech’s key strengths may seem obvious. These include high brand awareness across a large and diverse target audience and the development of leading-edge technology. Here’s a comparison of the key strengths big tech is planning to leverage as they enter new industries compared to the strengths industry brands can draw on to maintain their competitive position.
Big Tech Strengths:
- Broad brand awareness and large customer base
- Proprietary, advanced technologies, and fresh approaches to leveraging tech to improve CX
- Customer-obsessed culture and the resources to experiment, fail, and learn before needing to monetize new products and services
Your Brand Strengths:
- Experts in understanding customer wants, needs, and expectations
- Depth of industry knowledge, expertise, and operational logistics
- Ability to leverage existing positive emotional brand perceptions, associations, and loyalty
Big tech’s broad brand awareness has its pros and cons. For example, customer familiarity and preference for current competitive services doesn’t automatically mean big tech will be able to carry that over into other, specialized and complex industries. Additionally, while enhancing digital experiences has become table stakes, building credibility and brand trust takes more than digitizing transactions.
To maintain brand differentiation, established industry brands need to monitor activities from competitive threats of any kind. However, that knowledge shouldn’t drive every decision about how to improve your CX. The goal is to use that information, among many other sources of CX insights, to ensure any changes you make serve to benefit your customers.
Leverage Competitive Intelligence to Enhance CX
Understanding your target audience’s perceptions and associations with big tech is equally important to understanding your own. This is a good opportunity to uncover insights about both their strengths and weaknesses. Key questions to ask include:
- What brand perceptions does your target audience associate with big tech?
- How do these perceptions and attitudes compare to customer perceptions of your brand?
- What do consumers value most in their customer experiences with big tech companies?
- How do these experiences compare with your own CX?
- What level of interest do your customers have in purchasing products and services from big tech targeting your industry?
- What perceptions or beliefs are influencing their future purchase interest?
Answers to questions like these will help you gain a more holistic perspective on which target audience needs are being fulfilled by potential big tech competitors. Similar to conducting a SWOT analysis, it’s important to remain aware of current and emerging competitive threats. However, the purpose isn’t to copy what your competition is doing. It’s to use those insights to help inform your own ongoing CX enhancement efforts.
Adopt a Future-Focused CX Culture
Strengthening your CX starts by ensuring you have solid efforts in place to identify customer pain points and resolve them quickly. However, adopting a truly future-focused CX culture requires taking the long view towards transformation. Creating that mindset includes taking a deep dive to identify unmet and emerging target audience needs. Then co-create with your current and prospective customers to design improved experiences, new and improved product offerings, and the right balance of digital and person-to-person interactions to consistently deliver effortless customer experiences.
It’s critical to be able to anticipate the next ‘big thing’ and uncover new ways to delight customers today and into the future. Insights from consumer feedback, competitive intelligence, and CX innovations coming from outside industries can all help reveal new opportunities to better meet customer needs. After all, who knows your customers better than you? Building upon that customer knowledge will help you get in front of big tech threats, as well as others.
Embrace the Challenge
The steps you take now to protect your brand from big tech expansion will help you create stronger, more meaningful customer connections, regardless of what the future may bring. That includes intensifying a future-focused, customer-centric mindset across the organization to continuously pursue CX improvement opportunities. Building on that, brands need to commit to identifying unmet CX needs on an ongoing basis. With that knowledge, specific strategies can be developed to fulfill those needs with a keen focus on strengthening customer relationships and brand loyalty. Ultimately, the advantage your brand can leverage over outside industry competitors is the value of your existing relationships and the emotional bonds forged with customers. These are assets even the largest companies can’t easily recreate outside their core industry.
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