Brace yourselves… some businesses (I’ll extend that: most businesses) exist to turn a profit on the products they sell. Generally speaking, profit equals opportunities for re-investing in the business; re-investing in in the business equals better research and development; and better research and development equals better products to turn a profit on. And so the cycle repeats itself.
The reason I feel this post is necessary is that I’ve spoken to more than one person recently who seems to believe that a business should only make products that a minority of the population wish to buy; and not only that, but that these sorts of products should be the only thing that such businesses produce.
This is insanity.
Consider this: in Japan, you can buy an ‘English Mustard’ flavour Kit Kat. You can also buy one that tastes of Green Tea. Neither of these may tickle the tastebuds of the British, but Nestlé shifts boat loads of the latter every single year in Asia. And guess what? Profits from this get put into the company’s pot so that they can develop more substantial, chocolatey treats for those of us with more conservative appetites.
Sentimentality left unchecked can turn into genuine stuck-in-the-mud-ness, and has real potential to ruin a company. Innovative planning, intensive research and extensive development can – on the other hand – turn a company around. Just remember the state of M&S in 2000-2001…
One of the key reasons that the automotive industry is so competitive is the huge variety of models and specifications on offer to prospective buyers. The range of customers looking to purchase a new car is as diverse as the range of products from manufacturers ready and willing to supply them.
And long may it continue.