The Evolution of Customer Needs: What does it tell us?

History can provide valuable insights into customer needs and how they have evolved over time. 

By studying the past, we can gain a better understanding of the factors that have influenced customer preferences and behavior and how companies have adapted to meet their needs.


For example, in the early 20th century, mass production techniques enabled companies to produce goods on a large scale, making them more affordable for the average consumer. As a result, customers’ needs shifted from basic necessities to more discretionary items such as automobiles, household appliances, and leisure activities.


During the Great Depression in the 1930s, customers’ needs changed again, with a greater emphasis on value and affordability. Companies responded by offering lower-priced products and introducing installment payment plans to make them more accessible.


In the post-World War II era, customers’ needs shifted once more, with a greater emphasis on convenience and time-saving products. Companies responded by introducing new products and services such as fast food restaurants, drive-through banking, and home delivery services.

The Present

More recently, customers’ needs have shifted towards personalised experiences, sustainability, and social responsibility. Companies have responded by investing in data analytics, AI-powered technologies, and sustainability initiatives to provide tailored solutions and reduce their environmental impact.

In each of these examples, history has shown us that customer needs are not static but evolve over time. Companies that are able to adapt to changing customer preferences and behavior are more likely to succeed in the long run. 

By studying the past, companies can gain a better understanding of the factors that influence customer needs and develop strategies to meet them effectively.

We cover off these and more in our new book coming out in May 2023 titled ‘Leading the Customer-led Revolution’.  

If you’re not yet on the wait-list, don’t suffer FOMO – get in the know here.


A globally accomplished strategy professional, Sueanne is passionate about connecting businesses with the ultimate reason they exist: their customers. Her impressive reach has transformed market-leading brands such as, Terry White Chemmart, PPQ, Brisbane Powerhouse, AVIS, Travelocity, Hays Recruitment, Visit Sunshine Coast + Tourism Queensland.

With customer experience in her DNA, she is committed to transforming businesses + regions through aligning people, products + places. Her empathetic + decisive style breaks through business barriers, + brings everybody from board room to back office on the journey.