American auto dealers presently serve the interests of the auto manufacturer. Tesla is taking on the traditional method of automobile distribution by proposing – gasp! – that customers bypass distributors and talk directly with the manufacturer (see this LinkedIn article). In doing so, Tesla has identified that it’s customer truly is the automobile consumer. By identifying their core customer as the actual automobile consumer (one who has access to and enjoys making customized purchases via the Internet), Tesla is creating a whole new buying model. In doing so, Tesla is following the example of Apple, Dell, Southwest Airlines and others, each of which identified and clearly understood the specific psychographics of their customer and developed a buying model that catered to their customers’ unique needs.
So I ask you (sounding very much like that current credit card commercial): “Who is YOUR core customer and what value are you adding for them?” If you’re not clear on those issues, it’s time to figure them out (before someone else does).
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