At its simplest, the solution is very obvious. But knowing the answer opens up a far wider channel of options, needs and opportunities, all of which should lead you to far stronger competitive positioning compared with your rivals. 

Size doesn't matter here. Whether you're starting out as an entrepreneur or initiating change in a more established business, knowing and listening to your target customers really matters. It is time well-invested. 

I first wrote this piece nearly a year ago, after a number of conversations with ex-BBC producer turned business impact coach, Esther Stanhope. Her advice here is just as true and insightful today as it was then.