At Open we identify and examine customer issues. At DNA we deliver on that thinking.

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

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International

Gaining Insight far from home

Grenville Main April 2011

Gaining customer insights across ‘foreign’ markets is hard – true. There are certain factors such as language, values, cultural nuances and distance that need to be addressed, but often it’s as much about your own orientation – if they are ‘over there’ the ‘differences’ can seem massive. Maybe a simple orientation change will let you look at customers as customers, and focus on meeting their needs rather than seeing them as a set of ‘differences’ to deal with. We agree you can never underestimate differences in culture and location, but if you focus on this without balancing the commonalities to customers you may have closer to home, you’ll tie yourself in knots.

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International

Bungee jumping with number 8 wire

Grenville Main April 2011

Being perceived as being from a certain market can be an advantage (or a disadvantage of course), depending on where you are from and who you are selling to. If it is an advantage it may be significant but it will not necessarily protect you from new competitors and changing market forces. The ‘halo’ given to manufacturing markets for example, hasn’t always lasted, just look at China. It isn’t a new lesson but a good reminder perhaps – don’t rest on your NZ’ness; find more meaningful and defensible values and reasons for customers to believe in you and your product. With the exponential rate of change across technological developments, the globalisation of communities and the ever-present volatility of both market and non-market factors (of which we have had a nuclear-sized reminder this week), the challenges and solutions are constantly evolving.

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International

Aligning distribution and partner relationships

Grenville Main April 2011

Local distributors, partners or extensions of your supply chain and retail network can enhance or hinder your progress massively. They may understand their markets, and embrace your products — but do they understand and relate to your true goals as a business? Too often their goals (and what part you play in meeting them) and your goals (and how they fit in) are not mutually understood. 

If you can’t engage those closest to you and have them aligned with your objectives, the rest will certainly not just ‘fall into place’. It’s not just your customers that make a big difference — don’t stop focusing on getting up close and personal with your suppliers and global market ‘friends’ as well.

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