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Trade Routes: Where What Isn’t Will be Found

By: Michael Wynne
Posted: February 20, 2007

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Global Communications
Global communications instantly introduce new ideas, products, trends and fads everywhere. As a result, the demand for “in” products surges around the world in days rather than years. Global competition quickly turns new products into commodities. In little time, everyone has one, which increases the interest in newer offerings. It also increases the numbers of companies producing and offering them.

Disposable Income
Global disposable income is growing. Today’s consumers can afford to buy new products. In fact, even those who can’t really afford the expense seem to find the way to buy them anyway. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at the kinds of people who are walking around talking into their cellular phones. People with money to spend look for new products.

The Internet
The Internet enables people everywhere to access and buy new products, and credit cards have become the universal currency. This allows people to buy products in other countries without the complication of currency exchange rates and transfers. Global access and easy financing encourage impulse buying.

Transient Competitive Advantages
Competitive advantages are transient at best. Nowadays, the competition catches up and jumps ahead very quickly. Small improvements can’t hold onto their advantage for long. Keep looking for the next big thing.

Well, if benchmarking and incremental improvements are not enough, what is?

The Future: Find What Isn’t

Exploring the new frontiers of your market is not easy, but today’s markets offer no alternative. To survive, companies must constantly patrol the world for new markets, ideas, concepts, products and services.

“That’s fine,” you may say, “but our competitors are almost certainly looking in all the same places.”

Yes, they are, but there’s one place where they are not looking, and, in fact, it’s wide open. Where is that place? The future …

The future is the place where what isn’t will be found. You and your competitors are doing a good job of taking care of customers’ present needs, but what about their future needs?