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Monday, June 26, 2006

David vs Goliath

In a typical retail scenario, I would generally take the safe option and side with the big corporate machine for the 'known quantity' peace of mind that a well established business can provide. We feel safety in numbers and therefore when buying into an established brand, we feel comforted, safe and secure in our decision.

If only more of us decided to go out on a limb and follow our gut instincts, the world would be a much more interesting place. This David vs Goliath conundrum set my mind wondering about the potential benefits of siding with the small ballpark player and although there may be a perceived greater risk involved, there is always a chance that the benefits will far outweigh these negative connotations.

The chance of seeing a fledgling concept grow to a succcessful conclusion would obviously hold a degree of satisfaction. But these benefits can be far deeper in scope than this. An organisation that is rapidly able to turn customer feedback into an improvement action must stand a great chance of consistently matching customer requirements. The big lumbering corporation has so many voices and opinions to consider that any rapid response would be slowed by the sheer weight of numbers. A small business can keep customers in the loop by conducting a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship, whereas large companies may have to deal with experimental 'focus groups' in order to guage opinion which may be a false indication of a wider consensus.

My humble observation is that we should increasingly support small businesses as these are the organisations that can truely innovate and consistently meet our requirements. It is the ability to keep abrest of 'on the ground activities' and act upon these rapidly changing circumstances that gives David the ammunition to defeat the big brute that is Goliath.


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