In Hearing care’s response to commoditisation we looked at the impact of commoditisation and the accessibility of information on hearing care practitioners. But hearing aid manufacturers are just as vulnerable, as we shall see, partly from the changes in consumer behaviour and partly from the way they maintain the relationships with their key channels. Understanding these relationships and their impact on the Consumer are the key to minimising the risks, maintaining margins and reducing the likelihood of outsiders encroaching on their market.
In Hearing Care in the Age of Commoditisation & Information we saw how a combination of increasing commoditisation and the accessibility of information has forever changed the behaviour and expectations of consumers. We also saw how vulnerable traditional hearing care is to these changes in which expertise is slowly but surely sidelined by consumer knowledge, and the price needs justifying as never before.
In this part we'll be reviewing the three main ways that traditional hearing care has responded so far, before looking at what constitutes true differentiation and how hearing care practices should seek to differentiate themselves.
Traditional hearing care is facing unprecedented threat from increased commoditisation and accessibility of information.
These two trends are not unique to hearing care. Many industries and professions today face the same crisis, and some have not survived because they have been unable to adapt to the way the world is changing or because consumer behaviour has moved on and left them behind.
This series of three articles has been written to explain how these drivers are affecting traditional hearing care and their implications for the future of hearing aid provision. We will look at the different paths the industry and profession might take as a response to these changes in consumer behaviour and look ahead to see where each of those paths lead.