In the days before self-service shopping and before every home had a fridge, the responsibility for daily grocery shopping fell to women.

The consumer was someone who came to passively buy what was on offer.

Their purchases were dictated by availability and trends, their choices heavily influenced by advertising and restricted by weekly budgets.

Today though, our customers have become more than just consumers of our products and services.

They are partners, co-creators, ambassadors, patrons, advocates, evangelists, collaborators and community members.

People no longer just want to buy things from us without thinking, they want to become invested in the businesses and brands that they choose to support.

This is a shift we can and should nurture, not to mention an opportunity we can leverage.

The Lean Startup Methodology encourages us to build and iterate our minimum viable products in partnership with our customers.

Our customers are our partners.

Brands of the future will be those that will built in partnership with customers.

How is your business doing that?

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