As much as this responsibility falls under the marketing department, procurement managers also play a vital role. Their job is to make sure that the company gains a competitive advantage without having to spend too much money.
One of the best ways of doing this is to identify your customers’ biggest needs. It’s because this will let you in on their wants as well. Not understanding the difference between customer needs and wants can be a costly proposition. It means you may have to take shots in the dark instead of being able to see your target clearly.
The key thing to remember here is that customer wants are more important than needs to a business. They’re a much more powerful motivator and the actual source of competitive advantage. At the same time, you can’t know what your customers want if you don’t know what they need.
For example, let’s say that someone needs a new bed. In most cases, the knee-jerk reaction would call for them to look for the cheapest option. It will serve their needs well enough.
But if you show the shopper a bed with extra features, they’ll see that they might want other things beyond the bare bones. They don’t need them but they want them. A cheap regular bed will meet the same need as a feature-rich one, but now the customer has an option to satisfy their wants. They already have to buy a new bed, so they might as well go with one that they really want.
It’s these wants that you can build your competitive advantage around. By adding new features that others don’t have, you can secure your spot in the market.