Disrupted banks media and customer benefits

Disrupted banks, media, and businesses have to sell to customer benefits not the businesses features. This calls, not for a transformation, but evolution of business. After all, “Innovation is not just another app”, so Prof. Patrick Njoroge, CBK Governor, reminded banks

To begin with, customers don’t buy the features of your product. Customers buy the benefits they derive from it. For example, a woman buys the skirt because it’s hip or accentuates her hip movement; not because it is black and short. Therefore, the inability to sell ‘hip movement’ as opposed to ‘black skirt’ is the bane of many lost sales. Learning from disrupted banks and media, businesses too need to realise the difference if they are to survive let alone thrive in this era of disruption.

Disrupted media were an oligopoly

News is fodder for media. Reporting news is their foundation. For decades, TV and newspaper were the only avenues through which we could consume news. Consequently, media powerhouses made a mint from which huge investments, from state-of-the-art printing presses to imposing office blocks, derived.

The feature of the business (the media house) became its mainstay. And the problem with being Goliath is that hubris easily creeps in. Defining your business as reporting news, you cannot fathom how competition can emanate. The investment required is too limiting you reason. And so cartels formed and news reporting became an oligopoly. More features.  But the customer buys benefits. He doesn’t care much about your investments or cartels. He just wants news.

‘Oligopolization’ to commoditization

Meantime, yesterday’s disruptive digital cub grew to today’s teenage wolf. Seemingly overnight, sharing took the place of reporting. News stared getting shared in real time by a simple ‘forward’ or ‘like’. You don’t have to wait to read about, or watch, it. It finds you via WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Telegram,…; and it’s fun, free and viral! Witness the “President’s escapade at Kenyatta Market” and “the Most Dangerous Matatu” stories. Both were first shared, then reported. Even raw WikiLeaks is threatening edited investigative journalism. What was once ‘oligopolized’ is now getting commoditized. For the buyer, reported or shared, it doesn’t matter. The benefit is enjoyed. The massive layoffs and station closures are evidence of media houses struggling to profitably ‘benefit’ the buyer.

Disrupted banks media

Banks sold banks, not banking

For decades, banks have been selling themselves as a feature. “You need a bank.”(Said as a statement, not question) “Here, buy from us.” The bank has been a necessary evil. But what the buyer has always wanted was banking. “The world doesn’t need banks but the world needs banking.” Spoken in 1997 by Bill Gates, the prediction is rapidly coming to life today. M-Pesa is merely the beginning; with social media apps like China’s WeChat that allow money transfer, the teenage disruptive wolf is yet to become an adult.

That aside, the latest report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics on Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises, indicates that SMEs prefer to access banking services (start-up loans, in this instance) from family and friends first and banks next.  With the rapidly changing financial landscape globally and locally, it is becoming more and more apparent that the benefit the customer wants is banking services-not a bank.

Disrupted banks media

For banks and media houses alike, survival is not merely a transformation, but an evolution. Focusing on features invariably leads sellers to look inwards. They start and end with themselves thrusting their chests out with hubris inspired pompous pride. Focusing on benefits forces sellers to look outwards and provides the necessary insights to sell to the buyer’s benefits. Insisting on making the shirt short sleeved and cotton because ‘that’s who we are and have always done it this way’ will blind you to the benefit the buyer is looking for.

Three things disrupting banks media

Three things are forcing corporate powerhouses to sell benefits to the buyer and not features to themselves. First, the pervasive Internet, next, the ubiquitous smartphone and finally, a burgeoning wild card market referred to as millenials whose lives rotate around the former two. Whether you are a hawker selling pens or a Tier 1 bank selling banking services, buyers buy benefits, never features. This will never be disrupted.

You may also want to read, “Are Kenyan banks too big to fail?”

Check out our short courses. Or, if you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 412

About Author

Related posts

How to sell in a crisis: a step-by-step guide. The case of Airbnb.

What if your product was mired in a scandal like Airbnb is right now? What would you do? Would you roll with the punches or throw in the towel? Would you rise to the challenge or, like an errant seller, sink to resignation, blaming the product and employer? “Na niliwaambia tu.” (I told them but

Read More

Is it the economy that needs fixing? Or, is it just you? Let’s find out.

“It’s not me, it’s the economy,” so you say. And, to justify your many misses and rare hits those in your corner energize you’re position: “It’s not you; it’s the prospects that don’t have money. The problem is the economy; this economy needs fixing by the government.”  Maybe. Maybe not; maybe it’s not the economy,

Read More

Unlock value from sales tips and techniques as guides not crutches

“It didn’t work when I tried it.” Of course, it didn’t. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or it’s bad. It just means it didn’t work for you. Sales people that use sales tips and techniques as crutches unwittingly reveal that they are handicapped. They are handicapped because they want, no, need, to externalise the

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.