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Don’t Take Your Customers for Granted – Special Edition

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Discoveries

The Hollywood movie industry is undergoing profound change accelerated by demanding customers and fast-moving competitors. It would be one thing if customer preferences and competitor moves were occurring when the industry was at its zenith. Alas, Oscar lost his shine. Eroding award show viewership is a lagging indicator of decline. Consumers happily embrace an array of digital disruptors that reflect who and what they value. 

What can purpose-driven leaders learn from Hollywood? More than you might think.  

In the weeks before COVID changed everything, I led a group of executives to study Hollywood’s differentiators as we applied Differentiation Zone’s Six Guiding Principles to a living case study. Guiding Principle Five—You compete in more than one industry—inspired a group member to suggest we include TikTok in Hollywood’s competitive set. How prescient we were.  

Fast forward seven months. Hollywood never imagined TikTok would catapult into its competitive set. Instead, the Academy’s eyes were on its known rivals Amazon and Netflix. The acting and directing elite didn’t think to look for a novel offering from China. Few people over the age of 15 were familiar with TikTok in early 2020. How times have changed. The platform had 800 million active users as of July—and a staggering 2 billion downloads.  

You can bet Hollywood is paying attention now that content-crazed consumers of all ages are looking for diversions. On September 8, I read that Hollywood will require a diversity standard of its Best Picture nominees in 2024. Think about that for a moment. #OscarSoWhite was first used in 2015. Nine years is a lifetime when e-commerce adoption accelerates ten years in three months.  

The Oscars assumed it understood what mattered most to its customers and that customers would wait for change. TikTok proved it wrong. Hollywood takes customers for granted. You can’t make the same mistake.

My charge to you: Adopt a customer mindset, then reinvent for mission and strategic relevance. You never know when a fresh alternative might catapult into your space, disrupt your current grasp of the customer, and lure them away with something new and irresistible. 

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