On a hot summer afternoon, I was looking at a beautiful golden rain tree.
I was thinking about how nature blossoms this beautiful tree in summer only. How it must have selected the golden color of the tree. The hotter the summer, the more beautiful the flowers of this tree.

I was middle of these thoughts when I received a phone call. For a moment I thought of avoiding the phone call and enjoying the beauty of the golden rain tree. Then I thought work was also part of nature and hence took the call.

I heard a youngsters voice from the other side,
“Hello, my name is Ava. I want to start a business of organic food.”

I said, “That’s good, how can we assist you?” “I need a strategy for my start-up, can you help?”

Ava said, “I have gone through all possible strategy content and I am totally confused.”

I said “Ava, do you get a lot of promotional phone calls, emails and messages?

Ava replied with confusion on her face, “Yes”.

I continued, “Companies have been promoting their products and services at a mass level. In olden days, there was a natural demand for products and services since there were limited producers. Today, there is a competition in any product or service category. Hence, you get more messages from the producers than your capacity to understand these messages.”

I continued, “Let me introduce to you Customer Education as an effective Strategy I have designed. There are four pillars of this strategy. Earlier, having brochures, advertisements and other such promotional methods were enough. Today, customers are choosy. They know when you are trying to force your offering. Hence, it is better to provide education to your customer than to bombard with advertisements and other such promotional material.

There are four pillars of Customer Education as a Strategy.

1.Audience
Your startup is driven by your audience. For your organic food preparation and delivery business, your audience will be very specific. It will not be the case that anybody can be your audience. Your audience may be health conscious men and women. Your audience will be only in cities.

2.Methods
Your audience is already stormed with promotional messages. The only chance for you to stand out is focused on the mediums your audience is already using. There is a high probability that your audience is already working out in a gym. One way to engage with your audience is to host open sessions on organic diet and provide food samples to the session participants. Note that your audience is very specific and hence the number will be less compared to any other products/services suitable to masses.

3.Evaluation
One of the sure shot ways to fail in your strategy is to stop evaluation of your strategy. In this volatile world, it has become difficult to remain static in your business. Hence, there is a continuous need for evaluation of your strategy design and implementation. In your case, you will have to always question, is my audience right? Am I using right methods?

4.Tweaking
You may later observe that the method of conducting open sessions at gyms is not useful. In that case you will have to try some other method. Consider creating a mobile app on health tips. This idea may come up as an ongoing part of evaluation. Here you are tweaking the method.”
Ava said, “This approach looks interesting. Let me give it a try and get back to you.” I was not surprised since the young generation never takes things for granted and likes to question everything. After the phone call, I was again engrossed in the sight of golden rain tree.

I hope you will find Customer Education as a Strategy not only interesting but also refreshing. I will look forward to your feedback.

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