3 steps to capitalize consumer behavior, achieve growth

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 24, 2013

Consumer behaviorGlobal businesses that capitalize on major changes in consumer behavior can generate significant growth over the next few years. According to a recent report from Accenture, companies able to capitalize on these changes with speed and agility could capture a portion of the trillions of dollars in growth that businesses globally are likely to see over the next few years as the result of changing consumer behaviors. It is estimated that just 20 sectors most associated with these changes are set to enjoy growth of US$2.4 trillion by 2016.

“Many companies expect to outgrow their national economic environments over the next few years,” said Mark Spelman, a MD at Accenture. “To be able to achieve their expectations, companies should look not just to new markets, but also to how consumer behavior is changing and then put in place the capabilities necessary to capitalize on those changes.”

The report makes recommendations on how companies can achieve growth and outperform competitors by effectively addressing changing consumer behavior, taking their lead from “growth leaders” in their industries:
Invest in advanced analytics tools—and the relevant workforce skills—to assess these changes and interpret consumer data. Armed with such data, companies will be better equipped to enhance the consumer experience with more-tailored customer service. For instance, the analytics program of a leading media-rental company enables it to recommend movie and TV titles based on an individual consumer’s preferences and rental history.

Have the strategic mindset to recognize and adapt to disruptive consumer change and competitive threats. A global car-rental company replicated the business model of new players offering hourly rentals. By meeting disruption head-on, the company has been able to use its scale and scope to reduce the threat of new competition while improving customer service.

Put in place “flexible” organizational models that enable the company to be more agile and act quickly. This might entail acquisitions, divestments or partnerships to complement existing capabilities. For instance, a US-based grocer understood at an early stage consumers’ growing emphasis on healthy living and carried out numerous mergers and acquisitions to become a global leader in natural foods.