If you had the chance to look at the ROUNDMAP Customer/360 Canvas, you might have noticed two words: Awareness (blue section) and Significance (red section). These two words, we believe, are critical to creating and retaining customers.
When the value that you offer today is relevant, a customer (or employee) may want to buy from you; however, to get a customer to return and purchase again, you’ll have to make sure your portfolio is significant ─ referring to the perception of future value.
This straightforward yet potent concept can (also) be captured in one image:
Whether you are reviewing your company’s competitive advantages or like to reconsider your chances in the marketplace, the place to stay clear off is the Trivial Zone. Being trivial means that you have nothing to offer that is distinctly different from others or particularly useful. In terms of value proposition, it means that customers have no clue why they should buy your product, or what makes your product stand out from the competition. In terms of personal value, it means that it seems that you have no real value to offer to others. It doesn’t mean you or your products are completely worthless: people just don’t know what to think of them.
As youngsters, we were encouraged by our parents and teachers to go to school and learn a trade or profession. If you played hookey, I’m sure you were told that your future would be dire. Throughout our lifetime, learning is a way to stay clear from the Trivial Zone.
As long as your company is capable of creating relevant value, you’re in the Comfort Zone, enjoying the comfort of relevance. However, value is fleeing: products will lose their usefulness, value propositions will be challenged, knowledge will become outdated, and experience will turn obsolete. Therefore, new skills will need to be learned, new products will have to be developed, and competitive advantages will need to be updated. Hence, if we don’t grow, adapt, or evolve, we’ll start to lose our value and fall victim to triviality, or uselessness. It is a pitfall most of us fear.
But we don’t have to fall victim to triviality. We can choose to increase our value, for instance, by learning new skills or growing our network. And if we really want to make an effort, we can even develop that what may not be relevant today but might be significant in the future. We now enter the Growth Zone, embracing the Challenge of Significance. When we’ve made the right decisions, developing the right skills, start the right business ventures, or acquire the right resources, we may be set for a long time to come.
When we can’t grow any longer because our core competencies are no longer relevant, nor can they be made significant, then it is time to rethink our future. We need a Reconsideration of Purpose. We’re entering the BreakOut Zone. And if we do, we’ll have to leave behind much of what we’ve learned or own, and accept an even greater challenge: taking a leap of faith into the great unknown. It is as scary, if not scarier, than the pitfall of triviality. Knowing this might explain why people are so resistant to change.