Attended a great webinar with Harvard Business Review, hosted by Peter Sheahan, from Change Labs. Great insights as you look into 2015 and want to move from commodity/low price to a high value, distinct offering.
Nike+ is not a new sneaker, it is a behavior change platform. How do actually be healthy vs. looking healthy. At one point it was a better sneaker, than a better brand, but now, better health for its customers, leaning into the real need.
But, you can’t work and solve complex problems, unless you have a high-value relationship with your customers. You need an elevated relationship. How do you get out of the transaction based environment? How do you elevate your reputation, to get invited into the room, so you can solve the problems? You need to bring something interesting to the conversation.
- Move to the learning edge of change. Your buyers aren’t that interested in you knowing how the world exists now, but how it will exist in the future. How can you change your business model to gather intelligence to change your thinking, and make you more interesting in your industry?
- Take what you learn and share it, thought leadership or content marketing. Be generous! Adobe hired 24 thought leaders to share their message to every conference in the world where digital, online marketing leaders were. Their message? We do more than create PDFs, we help you go digital, we help you with marketing strategy to build your online brand presence.
- You need to do something with this thought leadership. Play high, play deep, play wide.
- Play High – Be in front of the decision maker, it’s not just having the content/knowledge, you have to have the courage to do it. The Adobe model is expensive. You need to make decisions that change your structure. Ask your customers what they need, listen to the marketplace, and develop new concepts/ideas to create what they are asking for. Then, take it a step further, maybe it is giving more access to your customers, adding new expertise, more staff i.e., have the courage to make the changes needed to move out of a commodity based situation (transactional based environment, based on price) to a higher level in the industry.
- Play Deep – you need to know the ins and outs of your client, everything you need to know about your customers. Burberry, over the last 5 years, stocks have doubled. Their biggest hurdle? Burberry online! Their biggest competitor. In order to survive with their brick and mortar, they had to develop a retail store/environment, that is worth paying 25% more than online. 300,000 hours later… In the UK, their store is “smart” beyond belief. From the moment you approach the door, they learn what you’ve purchased before, your tastes, the staff is alerted, so your experience is custom as you travel through the store. The mirrors double as televisions, the footage changes based on the person viewing. When you pick up a raincoat, the mirror changes to show you how it is made.
- Play Wide – National paint coating company sells to OEMs and collision repair shops. They thought, we need to make a paint that lasts longer. But, the repair shops only care about the insurance companies, i.e., how quickly can you get the car repaired and back on the road. So, they discovered the need a paint that drys fast, don’t care that it lasts longer. They looked at the EcoSystem, creating the right , not just better, kind of paint.
Stand out from the crowd: Learn the real problem, solve the problem, provide thought leadership, be bold, make changes. It will require a great cost up front for research and implementation, but, that is what it takes to get out of the commodity/low price situation for your brand.