Product-focused or customer-centric


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This is a false dichotomy. My previous blogs on service-dominant logic tried to make this point in a broad, theoretical way. This post will try to give a concrete illustration of those arguments.

Let’s consider two identical products created by two brand-new companies. One company launches the product with a technical sales staff and a prevasive marketing campaign highlighting the core features and functionality of the product.

The second company hires a sales staff focused on value-based selling and conducts a targeted marketing campaign focused on how the product meets the core needs of target customer.

Which company’s product is more likely to have long-term success in the market? The second company.

Why? Because customers buy more than the product when they are buying a product. Customers buy value, and that value is NOT inherent in the product. It comes through the customer-centric service, sales and marketing around the product.

The second company realized that their product could only have value when it solved a customer need, so they targeted those customers and proposed the value to them. Customers can then accept the value propostion by acquiring the product. That is customer-centricity, and that is the ONLY way products succeed in the marketplace. There is no way to separate the two.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Troy Powell, Ph.D
Troy consults on solutions to derive insights from customer information that optimize business performance. He has primary responsibility for deploying advanced analytics and developing innovative solutions for understanding and driving customer behavior. Troy has fifteen years of research across multiple research disciplines for both academic and corporate organizations. Troy holds a Ph.D. from Duke University.


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