A lot of companies have a golden business rule: keep an eye on your competitor! Such a rule is a good one, although I would not get too much obsessed with it; however, most of the companies forget about their customers.
Why is it the most important need to know your customer? I always agree with the fact that your staff are your valuable asset. This is where your ideas, executions, and drivers come from. Still, your customers are your cash generators. If you don’t know them, or your staff do not drive you to know them, then you are walking blind.
I am not going into the techniques of how to keep an eye on your customers or the ways & mechanisms of knowing your customers (I bet most of you know that). We are focusing here about the concept by itself.
Trends, habits, characteristics, demographics, ethnicity, origin, feasts & holidays, etc are all aspects of a customer that will affect your business. Who they are & what they like are all related to how you should be conducting your business. Whether you are into mass market, segmented market, B2B, B2C, or whatever segmentations you have, look into how your customers behave, their background, social status, and daily habits to come out with innovative products. Innovation is not inventing new technology. It is coming up with what your customers need, want, or wish for.
Keep your eyes open and take care of your customers. They will take care of your business.