Value Proposition

Are you brave enough?

It is one thing to say that the Customer is at the heart of any business but quite another to fully embrace the idea. A couple of stories from the not-too-distant past help illustrate the point. First, ask yourself these questions: To build business with a client or prospect what do you need to know about their business? What are your ‘benefits’? What are your ‘strengths’? What do you need to know about the competition – yours and those of your prospect? Now, here’s the first story. A large, rosewood, mirror-polished table dominates the boardroom; around it, 20 or so black-leather chairs. Half a dozen dinner-plate sized ashtrays signal that we are in a time gone by (the mid-1980s), as does the battery of Kodak Carousel projectors facing a screen. For a day and a half, the client executives...

Value in Use, the new foundation of business success

We all recognize the astonishing technological advances of recent years. After all, we all carry supercomputers around in our pockets and purses. And we routinely use the internet, “the largest experiment involving anarchy in history”[i]. And terms such as ‘Big Data’, ‘digital world’ and the like are part of everyday business discourse. And yet, and yet, many companies fail to grasp the profundity of a fundamental change that these advances have both enabled and empowered: the power shift from Producer to Customer. Or maybe it’s just that a lot of folk don’t want to see it. For the leaders of enterprises that thrived in the top-down-drivin’, product-pushin’, profit-hustlin’ milieu of 20th century business, the need for fundamental change may not be greeted with wholehearted enthusiasm. Or ...

The 4Ps of Marketing. RIP.

There’s a lot of stuff out there about the 4Ps of Marketing. Fact is, the best thing to do with the 4Ps model is bury it. To borrow from the Monty Python team, “It is a late model. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life it rests in peace”. Let’s take a step back. The 4Ps model – Product, Place, Price, Promotion – was created by Jerome McCarthy, a marketing professor at Michigan State University, in 1960. That’s a long time ago: the year that John F. Kennedy became President of the United States; a new band called The Beatles played their first gig, in Hamburg; and the Pentel Corporation demonstrated the fiber-tip pen. The business mindset back then was all about Products. In the September 2014 McKinsey Quarterly, in an article titled Redefining Capitalism, authors Eric Beinhocker and Nick Hanauer pu...

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