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Awkward Reality #471

Customer value is only created when an important, unmet customer outcome is improved. Period.

471-Customer-Value

Sure, you can develop products that you find exciting. But unless these products address something customers find important and unsatisfied, don’t expect them to buy them. And if customers do buy your product, they certainly won’t pay a premium. If you’re not happy about this, you’ll have to complain to Adam Smith. The best way to know customers are eager for you to meet a need is with Market Satisfaction Gaps.

More in white paper, Market Satisfaction Gaps

Awkward Reality #470

Lean Startup is fine for B2B… but don’t skip this extra “Learn” step.

470-Learning-before-Hypothesizing

The “Build-Measure-Learn” cycle in Lean Startup begins with a hypothesis, and is great for B2C. End-consumers can seldom tell you what will amuse them or increase their sense of self-worth. But knowledgeable B2B customer can predict their desired outcomes. So start with a “Learn” pre-step. Customers will tell you all you need if you know how to ask.

More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 3)

Awkward Reality #469

Awkward Reality #468

The forces moving a supplier from commodity to specialty come from within…or they don’t come at all.

468-Commoditization

There are many forces dragging your products toward commoditization: competitors trying to imitate your products… purchasing agents trying to standardize your products… new technologies trying to obsolete your products. In your quest toward specialty products, you’ll get no outside help. You own this one, baby.

More in 2-minute video at 9. Avoid the commodity death spiral

Awkward Reality #467

If you like sub-optimizing, you’ll love using traditional voice-of-customer methods.

467-Traditional-Voice-of-Customer

B2B companies have huge advantages over B2C, but they may not be obvious. After all, didn’t the same fellow who bought a rail car of soda ash also buy a can of soda pop? Nope. He changed… a lot. B2B customers are more technically savvy, objective, supplier-dependent, and can predict their needs. Careful reflection of these differences leads to different approaches.

More in 2-minute video at 15. Put your B2B advantages to work

Awkward Reality #466

Awkward Reality #465

Be clear on what you own and what your customers own.

465-Solutions

Customers own “outcome” space. You own “solution” space. Don’t let them into your space… unless you want to become a contract manufacturer. Instead, enter their space to understand desired outcomes better than competitors. This lets you deliver unique value in your solutions, which is handsomely rewarded though premium pricing. The best way to do this? Use qualitative and quantitative interviews.

More in the video, Reinventing VOC for B2B