Consumer-driven businesses are everywhere.Their products and services are familiar, and often satisfying tangible. They are arguably even meaningful because they touch so many lives, and through their function, form and brand let us express aspects of ourselves.
Interestingly, though the emphasis in these businesses is on consumers, many of their strategic and operational issues lie in the B2B rather than B2C relationships and interfaces in the value chain.
My consumer-driven experience lies in:
- fast moving consumer goods – all the essential food groups: wine, beer, soft drinks, potato chips, biscuits, chicken, milk, yoghurt, margarine and baked beans. Beyond food, the gamut runs from toilet paper to diamonds.
- agribusiness – kiwifruit, fish, dairy, meat, sugar and timber
- food retailing – chiefly supermarkets but also fast food chains and petrol station c-stores
- non-food retailing – building materials stores and other businesses, such as TABs, with up to hundreds of retail-focused outlets in their network
- consumer services – age care products and services, fitness clubs, waste removal, casinos, student accommodation, telecoms, postal and passenger services
- consumer durables – one huge project, launching 4 durable categories into Asia
- retail financial services – strangely, almost not at all, though branding and distribution issues would closely mirror other consumer work
At the more industrial end of my experience lie:
- packaging – particularly plastics and paper-based packaging
- industrial distribution – auto parts, paper and packaging supplies
- large scale industrial manufacturing – chiefly pulp and newsprint, but also plywood, MDF and particleboard manufacture
- specialist building supply manufacture – insulation, roofs, taps etc.