Do You Understand The Customer’s Problem?

Don’t listen to what they say, follow the money instead

If you want a customer to become price insensitive towards your product or service, you have to build trust. The fastest and most direct way to create this necessary trust is to understand your customer’s problem. Yet, one of the challenges in actually obtaining this understanding is to be able to determine what these problems are even when the customer isn’t fully aware of them. A customer’s perception of a problem and the reality of what that problem actually is are two different things.


A customer may believe that one of their current problems is being able to get groceries during the COVID-19 crisis, as an example. However, if we were to look at where they actually spend their money, we can paint a different picture. If a hypothetical group of surveyed customers says that their main expense and main concern is on groceries but, they spend more money on takeout—we have to prioritize their spending habits. How people spend their money and why they save their money is a better indicator of the problems and concerns that are truly important to them.


If you are able to determine what your customer’s spending habits are, showcase how these spending habits reflect their real problems, and then market stories related to that problem without overtly promoting the specific solution that you provide—you create a winning formula to generate trust. Combine your customer’s spending habits with what they are sharing online and you can start optimizing your branding and marketing strategies.


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What Do You Do With Your Money, When There’s A Pandemic?

How does money flow in a pandemic? What are people spending money on right now?

People are certainly buying food, whether they are making it themselves or getting takeout delivered. People are also buying new furniture and tools to create a home office, as many of us are now facing a new transition into remote work. We are also spending more money on streaming services, in-app purchases in mobile games, and some of us who are more daring are trying their hand at purchasing stocks.


Who’s to say that any one purchase, being made by anyone right now, is a smart or poor decision? No one has ever gone through something like this in their lifetimes. Perhaps saving is the best course of action right now, but a lot of us have never built the habit to save their money. Expected a new behavior to stick right now is hopeful at best.


Even if money falls from the sky, if we somehow hypothetically get $1,200 deposited directly into our bank accounts—I’m not sure what people would do with that money. Some of us will invest it, some of us will pay off debt, some will save and others will buy essential goods.


And some of us will waste on whatever it is we will judge as wasteful once all of this is over. Yet, maybe that new character in Brawl Stars helped someone cope with their stress. Who knows?


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What Will We Tell Our Children?

You’re creating a narrative

How did we respond when the virus started in Wuhan, China? How did we prepare once it spread?


Depending on your country of residence at the time, each answer will be different. Some of us ignored the problem until it was too late. Others will say that their government overreacted and although people are safe, there were unknown effects on the economy that we didn’t see coming.


Regardless of what will happen, we will all share one common answer. We continued to live.


Things changed after the virus, but that didn’t stop us from living our lives in the pursuit of happiness. The little details of how we continued our lives will also matter because our children will want to know. It’s important to keep this in mind as we go throughout our new routines—some of which may end up becoming permanent.


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What Are The Risks Involved?

Our strategies for risk management are tested at every moment

There are always unforeseen risks in any decision we make. The decision to commute outside during a global pandemic is one example. We also take risks when we sit down to eat at a new restaurant, when we invest in assets, and when we put our faith in our friends and family to always be there for us.


People create systems for risk management once they are given full autonomy over their lives, around the same time when they are able to move out of their homes and make a name for themselves.


We can (and should) consciously create these systems to make decisions faster and with less effort. Trusting our instincts is important yet, not having clear guidelines to follow can lead to unnecessary mistakes in life. Creating simple rules such as not going outside after 10:00PM to save money or not swimming in open waters due to a lack of training can help to mitigate risk.


Every decision has known and unknown risks

Risks don’t only relate to your health or wealth, they can also relate to your reputation. The risk we take when accepting a job we’re not qualified for so, that we can advance in our career is a common example. We also take a risk whenever we post something on social media, whether we are aware of this risk or not is another matter.


Perhaps the most vital aspect of risk management is considering when to not take any risks. There will always be unknown risks in every decision we make.


I tend to only make a decision after taking into account at least three potential risks. If you make a decision and think that there aren’t any risks involved, you haven’t thought about it enough. Consider the decision one more time. What are the risks involved?


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