When Will The Imaging Channel's Customers' Run out of Trust?

It's is 2020 in less than 30 days. Yet some in the Imaging Channel still think its 2000. On the other hand, most of the channel's customers are excited about 2025 and will find vendor partners who can deliver 2025 today.

"A company's customers won't be held hostage by those who serve them status quo; today's customers are presented or can find on their own replacements for what they deem obsolete." 

Customers are no longer at the mercy of those who currently serve them. The ability for an innovative process to surprise a legacy deliverable is still shocking the status quo. Anytime an industry marketing insist on selling yesterday's relevance; they are entering the journey towards obsolescence.

The Imaging Channel's marketing and go to market strategies resemble much more of the past than the future. Those with customer-centric mindsets who deliver based on marketplace realities will replace those who continue selling based on products and outdated processess. 

"A company's Products, Services, and its People will fall out of relevance if they forget it is the customers who determine a company's relevance."

It seems as if the Imaging Channel is betting on the fact that their current customers trust them to deliver constant relevancy. Unfortunately, the customers of all industries are looking on their own as they wait to be presented status quo alternatives from those who currently have their trust. It is in this waiting period where resellers perceive a trusting customer relationship, while their customer's reality is a temporary relationship based on what they currently know.

"You can be the vendor with the greatest relationships in the world and lose to the unknown innovator who delivers a better experience."

For a declining industry to deliver the future to the present they must have the willingness to destruct all that is holding them back from improving their customer's experiences. Regardless of the pain to the comfort of current circumstances, those changes create. 

Today the Imaging Channel is too focused on creating customer experiences that benefit the industry's past instead of creating end-user experiences that benefit their customers' future. There is an out of alignment with the realities of customer needs. That is why I started the A4 Revolution with my friends at Lexmark.

The Imaging Channel is living in a bubble of yesterday's circumstances. The channel continues overselling, over specking, has an overconfidence in their relevance and the trust their customers' have in them. This mis-alignment of expectations creates an environment for a severe disruption coming from outside the channel's control.

Innovators look for things the old way is doing, against the common sense of what could be based on what should be. The Innovators then set out on a path to educate the old way's customers in the better way. If all the leaders of the channel looked at the channel's deliverable through the end-users, eyes, they would quickly see a mis-aligned product - centric complacent deliverable.

"Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map" Wayne Calloway CEO PepsiCo 1986-96 

The industry's leaders must look at their deliverables through the eyes of an innovator who wants to wipe them off the map. Leaders who do this will then have two choices.

The first choice is listening to insecurities. It will be those insecure leaders which are smart enough to see the future. However, as they examine the future possibilities, they don't see themselves in the vision so, their insecurities will build walls to block what is probable for as long as they can. These leaders will continue delivering with a product-centric mindset and eventually will face the fate of the competitor Wayne Calloway spoke of.

The second choice is beating the innovator in turning those visions of improvement into reality. The leaders who can imagine a better way, and set out on a path in creating it will always focus on the customer, and will consistently deliver with a customer-centric mindset.

"Customer-Centric Mindsets will always defeat Product - Centric Actions"

Today's buyers have no patience in allowing those who serve them to remain complacent. When customers are presented a better way they will quickly leave what they once trusted as the only way.

Disruptive innovators look for misalignments in vendor and customer trust.

"Status quo is the Killer of all that will be Invented."

Ray Stasieczko

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