This is a subject to which I may well return, as I’m intrigued by this new evolution to strategic and growth initiatives. In markets heading towards commoditisation, wrapping more value into or around the product/service you provide is a must. Yet finding ways to do this are fiendishly difficult.
I was at a customer last Wednesday where they’ve set up a kind of in-house consultancy that helps bars/restaurants deliver greater value to customers. Their explicit implication: “when you buy from us regularly, then this enviable resource is all yours”. (It never gets given away free as part of pre-sales, ie: no consutlancy of any type is entered into before a signature even by way of extra incentive, which I believe is critical by the way) It goes without saying no other competitor offers this, focused as they are on selling kit as cheap as chips, so their ‘value innovation’ is really setting them apart (as experts in their field) and even better, protecting margins.
And I’ll mention a story from a prospect that I’ve noted in passing recently in more depth too. One of the items these particular guys provide are consumables to middlemen (resellers) that then go into their customers commercial vehicles. They tend to come with their logo (as after all, the manufacturers) and the like on them. So what they’ve started to do, is no longer be precious about their ego. I bet marketeers are shuddering! They offer to put their reseller’s details on the items instead. This then encourages loyalty to the reseller and raises their profile. Wonderful “ingredient branding”, and a beautiful piece of Value Innovation. I hope they’re brilliantly successful.