Total customer solutions: Does it work?

Industrial companies are increasingly defining themselves as “service providers” and offering customers “one-stop solutions”.

They promise “total customer solutions” thanks to “integrated value chains”.

But current empirical studies show that the transition from producer to service provider is often unsuccessful.

Failure manifests itself in two forms: on the one hand customers complain that they don’t receive a solution, just more complex offers, and on the other, the producers complain that their costs outweigh the additional income.

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Companies trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors are urged to become “solution providers,” not just sellers of products and services.

But selling solutions is no easy answer.

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Strategies for creating novel customer values

If the role of marketing was ever to bring about a balanced relationship between sellers and buyers, then in many industrial sectors it has failed to live up to that promise.

Consider the following scenario.

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Your company strives to innovate and differentiate, but do you have a sneaking suspicion that your buyers see less and less meaningful differentiation between your offer and that of your competitors?

Is your pricing power eroding?

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RETHINKING STRATEGY: A lesson from Mickey Mouse

Look at almost any industry and you will see companies struggling to differentiate what they have to offer from everything else in the marketplace.

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