2014 Economic & Leadership Summit at MAC

On Nov 5 at the Economic & Leadership Summit at the MAC, Frank Helle (Axian CEO) joined a CEO panel comprised of Jeff Harvey of Burgerville, Dave Sanders of ZoomCare, and Frank…representing respectively the food, health care, and technology industries in Oregon.

Frank teed up the discussion by setting context for a topic combining consumers, tech enabled companies, and business models. He observed that all companies today are tech companies as we all employ the worldwide web, intranet portals, mobile, data, social media, ERP and CRM within our businesses…and use many of these tech tools to connect with consumers.

He suggested consumers don’t want to pay for products or services, but are willing to pay for what they value in those products and services. Frank challenged the panelists not to sell just food, health care, or technology… but instead to sell consumers the ability to achieve their aspirations. It turns out people around the world from all demographics share six “universal aspirations.” People aspire to:

1. Creative Expression
2. Learning and growing
3. Being entertained
4. Getting things done
5. Feeling connected
6. A sense of wellness

Frank gave examples of the technology tools Axian is building to help our clients , and how these tools ultimately allow the consumer to achieve one or more of these aspirations. He then suggested that any business model whose value proposition speaks to any or all of these aspirations is off to a really good start!

He closed his opening remarks by challenging the audience to shift their business models to help consumers achieve their aspirations as a means of gaining competitive advantage over others who just sell ‘stuff’.”