3. Let your customerscreate your products (co-creation)
Who are you to know what your clients need?Aren't they the ones who know what they want,and aren't you the one to use that information? Alot has been said and written about co-creation,where you use large groups of customers orconsumers to develop new products. The basicsare simple: you can take a certain starting point,and let your clients work from there to come upwith something better.Using a special 'interaction model', all those newideas are then classified and turned into specificproduct scenarios. It's an excellent way to obtainand use customer insights!In following articles, we'll take a closer look at the'stage-gate' development process, a process thatallows you to efficiently turn a market scan into anew product launch. In recent years I've used thismethod to launch many new products andservices, almost always with great results!
4. Think about a uniqueproduct proposition!
t's not always easy to change or improve our coreproduct. And yet, we need a product propositionthat differentiates us, to get one up on thecompetition. At my seminars, I often showpowerful examples from IKEA, whose 'Billy bookcases' sell in huge numbers. IKEA supports itscore product with the IKEA Club community, arestaurant, playpens for kids, excellent deliveryand montage services and a keen stock policy.The customer is happy and perceives IKEA asoffering very complete service packages at veryreasonable prices. They barely notice spending lots of money on the family lunch, extra furnitureand its montage or the delivery services. That'sthe key secret that has hundreds of thousands of people enjoy their weekend visits to the Swedishfurniture giant, it's the key secret to IKEA's everincreasing customer value. Having discussed theexample of IKEA, it's your turn to develop a uniqueproduct proposition, developing it using fourdifferent elements.The first element is having a strong core product.This product can be expanded with the secondelement: modules or add-ons, allowing us toenrichen the product and raise customer value.The third element is to couple online services tothe core product. These online services supportand differentiate the core product proposition.Fourth, there's the element of extra's: presentsand other incentives for your client to make thatfinal purchasing decision. When developing yourunique product proposition, you can use theMarketingMonday Proposition Model. I'll cover thismodel in one of our future publications.
5. 'Socialize' your brand,'connect'!
I predict an end to mass media. For years, I've hadthe honor of spending millions on television,advertising, door-to-door newspapers, radio andonline campaigns. Since 2000 however, manymass media results have begun to display cracksin their armor. We're reading fewer newspapersand magazines, we're watching less television. Wespend more time watching and reading whatothers are doing and writing, we're deciding whatwe do and don't want to see, and we've come totrust what other people tell us about brands,products and services. In fact, their opinions havebecome so important to us, we often base ourpurchasing decisions on what others say. It's therise of the social consumers' organisation, placing the power in the hands of consumers. We nowhave to create a dialogue with each individualconsumer: we have to put an effort into building arelationship andwe have tobecome anhonest,transparentpartner. Theclient has tobelieve ourbrand isaccessible, co-operative andlistening. Thebrand and clienthave to become friends. Afterall, friends arepopular: friends are people you'd gladly introduceto your neighbours, family and friends orcolleagues. And that's exactly where we want tobe.The structure of 'social branding' submits theremust first be a connection between the brand/product and the client. Then, it's up to us tofacilitate the relationship between the client andhis own network: we provide the tools that allowhim to socially share our product or service withthe people around him.
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