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Get Hip to the Business Trends of Today

In years past, technical innovation drove new product and service development, not cool colors or slick design.  Today, companies are realizing the importance of being user-centered instead of just fe...

In years past, technical innovation drove new product and service development, not cool colors or slick design.  Today, companies are realizing the importance of being user-centered instead of just feature-centered; therefore product design combined with a phenomenal user experience has become the top priority for any consumer-oriented business.  Apple, for instance, has done an amazing job using design to differentiate their products.  Look at the iPod, the iPhone, iTV – they all have the distinct, almost futuristic Apple look.  Amazingly, just as many people buy these products for their looks as they do for their functionality.  Their products are not only easy-to-use; they empower the customer with more control over their own experience by providing a user-friendly interface, which is backed up with well thought out engineering and unsurpassed design.  Clearly Apple has focused their attention on the entire customer experience at every touch point, and grown their business through creating truly innovative products, services and experiences.  

Looking Cool

It is no surprise that looks matter.  Our society is obsessed with appearances.  So, why do so few businesses pay attention to their own looks?  If you haven’t been looking in the mirror, it’s time to start.  Customers have such passion for Apple's products that they will gladly fork down 2 to 5 times the money they would spend on an uglier, equally capable alternative.  Apple’s success is the result of the company’s design and customer experience focus which is driven from the top of the organization, not compartmentalized into one functional area.  By prioritizing the look, feel and usability of their products, they have managed to create products that polarize buyers.  Watch the commercials - you’re either a Mac or a P.C. buyer.  However, most companies are much less successful than Apple because they lack the executive leadership that understands and values great product design the way Apple has over the years.  In order to achieve some degree of Apple’s success, you must fine tune the detail of your product, service, and customer experience to take it beyond adequate to exceptional.  In short, make your product look cool, your service sound cool and your customer experience be cool. 

Hip Hip Hooray

Gone are the days when true business people wore navy blue suits and looked down upon the wild youth of today with disdain.  More and more those stuffed shirts are realizing that the youth economy is hot and, in order for businesses to tap into that market, they need to take note of what these hipsters are all about.  Online and offline, companies like You Tube and Facebook have removed many barriers-to-entry that startups used to face.  They have created a means for visionary radicals to bypass the old boy network and go straight to their fans.  Once these companies get to their customers, instead of going straight for their wallet, they instead focus on giving them something to cheer about first.  Hip Hip…

Fans vs. Customers

Traditional businesses focused on how to get more customers.  Today’s businesses must focus on getting fans - loud, loyal, raving fans.  Traditional business asked, “How can we get more people to buy from us?”  Businesses that are hip to the trends of today ask, “How can we get customers to love us?”  Just focusing on sales is a one dimensional approach to growing a business, the more sophisticated way of looking at it is to inspire people by helping them to attain what they are seeking through your business.  People buy for emotional reasons more so than physical ones, so find a way to strike an emotional cord with your customers.  Think about who we like to cheer for – the underdog, the hard worker, the person who put it all on the line, the strong, and the good-looking.  How can you personify your company as one of these characters and inspire a cheering section? 

Buyers are becoming more choosey and more finicky.  However, once they have a phenomenal customer experience, they are more likely to keep coming back for more and tell everyone they know about it.  In order to compete in an increasingly crowded business world, you need to elevate your product, service and customer experience to a level that will make your customers feel good, look cool, and love you.  For more information on how you can get hip to the business trends of todayFeature Articles, visit  

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Elizabeth W. Gordon, founder and President of The Flourishing Business, LLC, is a visionary leader who has a passion for helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams and enjoy more of the best in life.

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