Build Your Strategy Around These 12 Things That Won’t Change

Most businesses base their strategy on what is, rarely looking out into the future to consider what’s going to change. Better businesses look out into the future, embrace it, and base their strategy around it. The future is uncertain, it’s a range of possibilities, which makes it difficult to plan for. It’s why most business leaders want to know “What’s going to change in the future?”, it’s a common question. But, a better question is “What’s not going to change in the next ten years?”

The question is part of a quote by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon:

I very frequently get the question, “What’s going to change in the next ten years?” And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question, “What’s not going to change in the next ten years?” And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two, because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.

In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true ten years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future ten years from now where a customer comes up and says, “Jeff, I love Amazon, I just wish the prices were a little higher,” or, “I love Amazon, I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.” Impossible.

And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers ten years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.

Here’s the video:

So, what will always stay the same?

The 12 fundamental desires and needs that customers will always have

When I say to focus on what won’t change, I’m referring to those fundamental desires and needs that customers will always have. Based on this approach, here are some things that I believe won’t change in the next decade, which you can capitalize on:

  1. Desire for convenience: Customers will always want easier, more convenient ways to purchase and access products and services.
  2. Value for money: No matter the economic climate, consumers will always want to feel they’re getting good value for their money.
  3. Need for speed: Whether it’s delivery times, website loading speeds, or customer service response times, people will always value quickness and efficiency.
  4. Personalized experiences: Customers appreciate when products, services, or content are tailored specifically to their preferences and needs.
  5. Trustworthiness: People want to do business with companies they trust. This includes both product quality and how companies handle personal data.
  6. Quality products and services: While there might be a market for cheaper, lower-quality items, there will always be a consistent demand for high-quality products and services.
  7. Human connection: Even in an increasingly digital world, people will continue to seek genuine human connection, whether it’s through customer service, personalized shopping experiences, or community engagement.
  8. Sustainability: As awareness about the environment and social issues grows, consumers will increasingly lean towards companies that practice sustainability and ethical production.
  9. Entertainment and escapism: Regardless of the medium, people will always seek ways to entertain themselves and escape from the routine or stresses of everyday life.
  10. Safety and security: Whether it’s physical safety in the products they buy or digital security in the online services they use, customers will always prioritize their safety.
  11. Learning and growth: People will always have an innate desire to learn new things, improve themselves, and grow personally and professionally.
  12. Health and wellness: A focus on health, both mental and physical, is timeless. People will always invest in products and services that promise better health and well-being.

For entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business, anchoring their strategies on these unchanging aspects can provide a solid foundation. While innovation and adaptation are critical, building on these constants can offer a degree of predictability and sustainability in an otherwise unpredictable business landscape.

Bottom line: Define your business strategy by what won’t change. Focus on what will stay consistent no matter what.