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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

The Customer Relationship: Is Your Business a ‘Nice’, a Need or an Addiction?

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on The Customer Relationship: Is Your Business a ‘Nice’, a Need or an Addiction?

Businesses are constantly morphing; sometimes because of industry shifts and sometimes because of competitive factors.  So, as you think about your strategy and consider the next tweak to your own business, think about whether your business is a ‘nice’, a need or an addiction.

Nice isn’t nice

If your product or service is nice to have, it’s incredibly vulnerable.  If money is tight, time is tight or something better comes along, something that is purely ‘nice to have’ will lose out to something that is mission critical for the customer.

A need

If you fulfill a basic need for your customer, you are better off than nice.  But once the need is filled (or if someone fills it in a different way), you may still limit your growth opportunities.

An addiction

Starbucks coffee.  The iPhone.  Integrity Toys’ Fashion Royalty dolls. Angry Birds. What do all of these products have in common?  To their core customers, they are an addiction.  They aren’t a basic need, but they fulfill an emotional part for the customer that makes them a critical component of their happiness.  Their customers crave them and will go to any lengths to get them.

Look at your current business. Are you delivering a product, service and/or experience so craveworthy that your customers will do just about anything to get it?

Will they stand in line for it?

Do they drive past more convenient options to experience it?

Will they pay a premium to be the first to have it?

So, ask yourself how can move beyond the rational customer need to create something so addictive to your customer that they will go out of their way for it, that they have to have it and that it casts aside all sensible behavior.  If you aren’t there yet, keep pushing towards that addictive offering.


Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth