Written by Moniek Tiel Groenestege, from Business Models Inc.

Have you ever been asked by a company what your ‘job-to-be-done’ is, why you ‘hire’ their products and what your opinion is? Nope, right? We thought so.

“Where is value created?” for us the most important question, and we found out the hardest as well. Most companies have no idea who their customers are. Data alone is not enough. It is about stepping into the shoes of your customer. Truly know what their pains, gain, and needs are. This is key for companies to stay relevant for you as a customer.

The inspirational example from Netflix

Companies that focus on solving your problem are the ones who are relevant (and most of the time very popular). A great inspirational example is Netflix. The ‘all you can eat subscription’ that Netflix offers, lets you watch your favourite shows anywhere and at any time you want.

When Netflix launched, Blockbuster (a global chain of video stores where customers could go and rent videos in store) was their biggest competitor. It took Blockbuster years to start offering a similar service as Netflix was already doing. By the time they finally shifted to a subscription service, Netflix already had started the process of shifting its customers to streaming subscribers and was quitting the DVD rental business.

But, what is driving this success of Netflix? They understood that people not only want to rent videos but also want to pay for a broad and user-friendly offering, for the comfort of ordering a video from your couch and for no hassle with returning videos — all of that for an affordable price.

“I wonder why they did it that way”

So. What do we learn? You, as a young professional, should know that it should be all about focusing on the customer needs. You must build in the discipline and the constant renewal of understanding of what your customers need from you. Be willing to have an open mind and ask yourself, “I wonder why they did it that way”. This requires being truly curious about the answers.

We dare you to go keep going outside when you work at a corporate organization, which are not so familiar to keep talking to their customers. Discovery is the key to mastering the understanding of your customers and ultimately, how and why your offering is relevant.

We believe in you and your capabilities to stay curious. Just keep asking questions.

Read more inspirational stories on European Innovation Academy blog!