The Key to Becoming A Fortune Magazine Top Ten Most Admired Company

Fortune released its 2017 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, based on responses from 3,800 executives, analysts, directors, and experts, and the results aren’t all that surprising. Eight of the top ten all stars are a who’s who of tech or consumer-focused companies. These are the companies that regular consumers interact with every day: 

1. Apple offers a powerful handheld computer. 

2. Amazon lets you easily buy anything from toilet paper, crafts, apparel or even food online. 

3. Starbucks brings us expensive (yet delicious) coffee. 

4. Disney keeps the kids quiet and incites youthful excitement even from our grandparents. 

5. Alphabet, among other creative endeavors Google, is our link to the information (and ads) we never knew we needed. 

6. Southwest offers a simple cost structure for flights when we "Wanna Get Away." 

7. Facebook connects us to friends and family across the globe (and of course to media – real or otherwise). 

8. Lastly, Microsoft brings us the business software that we love to hate.

And then there are GE and Berkshire Hathaway. To be honest, I had to Google “What is Berkshire Hathaway.” Of course I knew of its insurance and investment plays, but I did not understand the gravity of its stable of 80 companies spanning energy, auto, food, apparel, manufacturing and more, according to 2015’s annual report. Talk about a diversified business strategy!

Similarly, General Electric touches everything from aviation, lighting, healthcare, energy, transportation and more. “Imagination at Work” indeed.

The takeaway I have from this list is that businesses that know how to redefine themselves over and over to meet market or consumer demand will thrive. Their innovation stems from their ability to solve the challenges their customers didn’t even know they had, whether that’s Disney’s park wristbands and Starbucks’ loyalty app or GE’s capitalization on the Industrial Internet.

Do you know what your customers need?

Image copyright. This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.