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A Stakeholder Definition and How to Identify Your Key Stakeholders

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 765

What are stakeholders?

Stakeholders include people who have an interest in the organization's activities and success, whether this interest is positive or negative. Some examples of stakeholders include: investors, employees, customers, end-users, politicians, suppliers, bloggers, competitors and journalists.

One distinction of two stakeholders is very important to remember - the difference between customers and consumers/end users. Why? Let's take the job of a web designer. While a web designer's customers are other businesses, the end-users of these products are their customers. The services need to be sold to businesses, but when designing a website for a customer, the main thing to be taken into account is the experience of the end-user.

If you don't know the difference between your customers and consumers, you may end up spending your marketing efforts on the wrong group - why target your consumers with discount advertisements if they aren't the ones who will buy anything from you?

Why are stakeholders important?

As mentioned previously, modern marketing theories are more focused on being customer-centric, meaning that it is understood that customers co-create the brand, and customers are therefore purposefully involved in the co-creation of the brand. However, remembering the definition of co-creation, customers are not the only individuals who co-create the brand, other groups of stakeholders also co-create the brand. This makes it crucial to understand who your most important stakeholders are at any point of time for your business, as harnessing the power of the right stakeholders may cause new opportunities for your business and brand.

How do you identify your main stakeholders?

Take an example of a business that needs to gain new business, more recognition and traffic to their website.

How would they do this by taking a look at their stakeholders?

They would think about the people who they are most interested in co-creating their brand right now, and whose opinions are most important to their brand at the moment. This could include present customers, potential customers, fellow entrepreneurs and competitors/colleagues in their industry. These are the people who can give them good or bad reviews, recommendations, critique their work, are important to expand their network with right now, etc. Essentially, these stakeholders have the potential to raise traffic levels and create new business opportunities for this business.

Now the question is what are your brand's and business' main needs right now? Who are the main stakeholders that can fulfill these needs?

Carina Claire Jeppesen is a web designer and a branding and communications specialist, who founded the company Web Couture Ltd in the UK. Her clients and work varies from redesigning personal websites, to conducting interviews and writing annual reports for multinational companies, to creating infographics for nonprofits. Visit for more information.

Source: EzineArticles
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