Wooing & Winning Your Competitor’s Customers


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Wooing & Winning Your Competitor’s Customers
Let’s say you have built an incredible product. You have managed to convince your beta customers that it’s the best solution in the market. And now you want your product to go viral and become a growth hacker and make billions. But here’s the catch. The existing players aka your competitors have a huge customer base and winning business is not going to be easy.

You prospective customers may be less secure than you think. As they are unaware of what you can provide it’s possible that they don’t even realize what they are missing and they may be at risk if they continue with the “status quo approach”.

So you grab their customer’s attention by “Questioning the Status Quo”

To garner the attention of competitor’s customer, it’s time for you to question their status quo by asking “what if” and “why not” questions. This will help trigger needs and risks that they were unaware of and get them curious to explore how you can help.

The incumbent competitor would never question their status quo, as their solution does not have answers if they open the Pandora’s Box.

While there are frequent examples of how Google docs gradually acquired Microsoft Office loyalists, or how Uber, AirBnB are disrupting and redefining old industries there are not any example from India.

Case In Point – A ‘Made in India’ Product – SmartMileTM

I can see this in making by a “Made in India” product – SmartMileTM a SaaS platform by Tarnea Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Tarnea is a company, based in Bengaluru, India – working on the mission of bringing automation to every retailer and bringing visibility of the last mile to the entire value chain.

The market realities for Tarnea:

  • Tarnea’s existing competitors (i.e. existing businesses) offering pharmacy softwares are built using out-dated technology that can’t adapt to the changing environment or lack of automation in their stores. So the incumbent competitor’s don’t dare to question the retailers status quo, as they will soon be out of business.
  • With 94 percent of the sales happening through unorganized, un automated small time retailers, the Pharma, CPG, FMCG is facing a situation where they have limited visibilities to the last mile which translate to supply chain inefficiencies and limited visibility to marketing and advertisement efficiency.

To disrupt the industry and to ensure last mile visibility, the first step by Tarnea is to automate the unorganized retailer.

Having served 27.5 lakhs + end customers in Tier 2 towns in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the company are now expanding operations in Mumbai.  Their product, sales and service approach is a perfect blend of business, technology and psychology in action to become a growth hacker.

What makes SmartMileTM so special is, it manages to create an instantaneous link between an unaddressed business and emotional itch acting as a balm to the unorganized brick and mortar pharmacies.

SmartMileTM – A Product With All The Right Hooks

Tarnea questions the retailer’s status quo by understanding what can trigger them to start considering the platform.

The Triggers

  • Internal Triggers: A never-ending quest to improve margins, increase revenue and decrease costs.
  • The External Triggers: Changing consumer behaviour; demanding customers, struggle to counter deep discounts offered by online counterparts, discounts and loyalty programs by large chains.

Enable Smooth Transition – The Minimum Action the Users Need To Take

To enable the retailers switching from their current platforms or those who preferred the manual way to Tarnea, the product engineering team has built a very easy to use interface, which drastically cuts down the training time.  In less than 24 hours the Tarnea implementation team migrates the data from the previous system and the store is live on Tarnea SmartMileTM platform.

The retailers receive instant upgrades to the technology, which are done remotely without any downtime or management costs to the business. This is a significant productivity advantage over traditional systems. The remote server also eliminates concerns about running out of space, or having to upgrade hardware as they increase customer and inventory data on their system.

The Rewards

The rewards for the retailer to shift to this cloud based solution are huge. This enables the brick and mortar pharmacies to counter the convenience provided by online pharmacies, minimize lost sales because of stock-outs.  It enables the pharmacy owner to sell across multiple channels, apart from

  • to understand their buyer behaviour and customize their offerings to meet their needs,
  • eliminate/minimize lost sales because of stock-outs
  • enable staff to engage better with customers by providing consumers information when and where they want it
  • digitally offering the full catalogue of products or promotions available in stock within the physical store
  • and help significantly increase their bottom lines and business success.

Last but not the least, it helps pharmacy owners manage the business on the move.  They have access to all their sales data 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can monitor the business on a mobile device through real-time sales reporting, having control over inventory and customer information while they are on the move between multiple business outlets, or even on vacation.

The Investment

Tarnea provides ‘bang for the buck’ invested by the retailer. Their customer’s testimonials are a proof of this statement made by me:

“Every time I mention to Tarnea a need of some kind their Development Team have made it a reality. Most software companies only do what they want to do, not what the customer needs. Tarnea puts their customers first in every aspect from customer service to enhancements. I am very glad that we made the move to SmartMileTM. We look forward to the continued evolution of an already great product.”

Tarnea All Set To Change How Unorganized Retailers Can Keep Up Consumers

With all these rights hooks in the innovative product, in order to compete and emerge a winner, the Tarnea team is all set as they are:

  • Pushing their competitors customers (i.e. pharmacy owners) out of their comfort zone
  • Help customers see their challenges in a new light
  • Able to highlight specific situations that is painful for the customers and propose a solution that can address this easily
  • Creating a practical and constructive tension and use it to their advantage.

And I had the opportunity to see all this in action at a recent organized by Tarnea in Mumbai. Kudos to the Tarnea team.

Article was first posted in Marketers Touchpoint

Vidya Priya Rao
Vidya Priya Rao (PhD), is the Founder and Director of Innovatus Marketers Touchpoint LLP, a customer experience, design thinking and marketing consulting firm based in Mumbai, India. She is a design thinking/service design thinking decoder and promotes a proven approach to build a design-led innovation culture. She is also a visiting faculty at leading B-Schools in India. She is an Executive, Marketing & Sales Coach, Trainer, and Keynote Speaker.


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