Magazine article Marketing

Concentrate on Customers to Be the World's Best

Magazine article Marketing

Concentrate on Customers to Be the World's Best

Article excerpt

In the business premiership, Britain is further down the league table of competitiveness than it should be. We work the ball into the penalty area as often as any, but our goal-scoring record is unimpressive. We shoot wide when we should shoot straight.

It's as though we don't know where the goal is. Just the general direction.

With depressing regularity we do not define the business goal clearly. We write pretty mission statements, define sales and profit targets, and do our best to comfort investors, even on a quarterly basis. But in the real-world big league of competition, we don't score.

I know that is a generalisation; there are many world-class British firms. I spent my whole business career in one, and, nowadays, supported by my senior railcard and bus pass, I share what little I've learned with several others. But there is no escaping the reality that our nation's business performance is dragged down by a depressingly long tail of commercial and industrial mediocrity.

By way of illustration, it is indisputable that the 'Made in Britain' tag, once sported so proudly, now carries much less weight. Customers feel more assured by a 'Made in Germany' or 'Made in Japan' tag, both of which now suggest a balance of quality, price and value.

The government's latest competitiveness White Paper points us in a lot of the right directions, but it misses a key factor - the one I started from - which is that compared with our best competitors, British firms do not score as highly with customers. …

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