We know that customers and consumers are not necessarily the same person.
The consumer is the one who consumes, who uses.
The customers is the one who pays.
Often used interchangeably, they are not the same.
The consumer and the customer can be the same person, when you have breakfast at a restaurant, you are consumer and customer at the same time.
The kid at the toy store is a consumer, the dad who pays for the toy is the customer.
When you buy dog food at the local store, you are not the consumer, the dog is, you are the customer.
When a husband buys lingerie for his wife, he is the not consumer [I hope not], his wife is, he is the customer.
Why is this distinction is important?
It is important because it helps you know how to market and sell to these two different people.
When you market to a child, you focus on the fun and the colors, when you market to the father, you focus on the safety, durability, education-ability and maintenance of the toy.
When you do NGO work, who is more important, your donor funder or the people you are empowering?
Your donor funder is your customer, the people you are empowering are your consumers.
When you market to donor funder, you highlight the impact, numbers and how it will look like on their scorecards and reputation.
When you market to people you are empowering, you focus on overcoming and personal growth.
The competitive advantage is in knowing your customers and consumers and being able to see the specialness they possess in them.