Harvard Business Review contributor Tara-Nicholle Nelson, author of “The Transformational Consumer,” says businesses should spend less time focusing on direct competitors and more time responding to the evolving needs of their customers. Here’s how.

  • Rethink what you actually sell. It’s not a product. Look at it as a transformational tool that helps people on a journey to achieve a goal.
  • Rethink your customer. They’re not people who have purchased your product or followed you on social media. They’re all individuals grappling with the problem your business exists to fix.
  • Focus on the customer’s problems. Use research to understand their journey. Map out the path from problem to problem-solved. What are the decision traps, pitfalls, friction spots and quit points. In this data-obsessed era, using it to learn when and why you lose customers is more important than chasing direct competitors.

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