Which ‘C’ word gets your vote?
Head of Marketing
The ‘C’ words seem to have taken over our business speak - consumerisation, choice, compromise, collaboration, culture, cost; not to mention connectivity, communication and cloud, three very closely aligned to the industry we work in. It appears that every business today is looking to be the collaborative champion of consumerisation, or have a creative culture of choice and certainty. The ‘C’ words are definitely being bandied around – but which one resonates best with your business?
As a consumer, my ‘C’ word of choice is choice! I seriously do expect to be able to source anything I want – at a price. For example my daughter wants a mermaid tail for her eighth birthday. This might sound like a typical little girl’s dream but after a quick online search I now know that for £95 I can be the ‘best mum ever’ and provide not just a fancy dress costume but a neoprene mermaid tail that she can actually swim in. And crazy as it might sound, I’m seriously considering it – not because it’s good value, or sensible or will get loads of playtime – but because it will get a 5 minute reaction that will be completely priceless.
In business, I find decisions much easier to make as the emotional tie isn’t so strong. I can pin my decisions around a key factor depending on the purchase - price, flexibility, service, location, culture, functionality, good old-fashioned common sense – all are valid and the prioritisation of these will usually help to narrow my choice down pretty quickly. Like a lot of people I’m value-driven rather than cost-driven so I try to balance flexibility and service expectations with the price I’m prepared to pay. So, in business, compromise is my biggest ‘C’ word. The thought process goes something like this – ‘I like that company’s culture, but this solution looks easier to use; if I buy the cheapest one I have more to spend on my next project, but will the service really be good enough?’
As an employee though, my favourite ‘C’ word is culture. I couldn’t work for a business that didn’t believe that work should be fun, that didn’t understand that my family are important to me, or that didn’t promote an inclusive working environment. If I’m going to spend the majority of my waking hours serving a business then the culture has to be one that fits my personality or you definitely wouldn’t be seeing my best side.
So, as a business is it really choice we need to be focused on or compromise? Do we really need to provide every variety of our product or just one really good one that ticks the right balance of cost, flexibility and service? We all know that you get what you pay for – running a business on a consumer broadband package is good value until it stops working when your connection gets throttled during the school holidays. That’s when you see the real cost because your business is screwed. Maybe a leased line would have been a better choice even if you did have to compromise on the cost you needed to pay.
Perhaps it’s culture that you’re looking to build or change – providing Office 365 as your desktop application tool shouts right from the outset that you’re a business that promotes an easy way of working, encourages open communication and supports collaborative thinking – and we all want to be that business.
Whichever ‘C’ words you build your business around it’s safe to say that the ‘C’ words will be around for a while and businesses really need to understand which are the most important to their success. After all, if choice is about trying to deliver it all; compromise is about understanding that sometimes less really is more.