Sam's Club CEO Brian Cornell once attended a conference at Apple that was designed to give corporate executives a chance to learn some of the secrets behind the late Steve Jobs's success. Cornell recalled asking Jobs how much he relied on focus groups to find out what his customers might be looking for, particularly when it came to developing the iPhone.
"He told me [the iPhone] wasn't even particularly on the company's agenda, that they were really looking at other categories of products," Cornell said. "But he and his executives were sitting around each day and complaining about how they hated their phones. They realized that it was probably also true of their customers. It's not that Apple invented the mobile phone, but Jobs could see that by taking away a customer's pain point - making a better phone - he could make a customer for life. For that he has been celebrated, as well he should, since one of the great things you have to do as a company - as a leader - is be aware of your customer's pain points and alleviate them."
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