Good read for B2B companies. Obviously, if you are the solution or the operator in addition to the product, your mutual ties with the customer are much tighter. Marketing and sales.
Excerpt: Companies in all varieties of B2B markets have moved beyond selling products and services to offering complete “solutions” to their customers. Alstom keeps trains ready to run each morning for railroad operators rather than just selling the rolling stock to them. General Electric helps hospitals manage and use patient data rather than selling them the equipment and software to do the job. Hilti provides and maintains power tools for builders. Rolls Royce runs the engines you see on the wings of your plane. Syngenta offers rice farmers planted fields.
From the provider’s perspective, selling solutions allows companies to differentiate themselves in commoditizing markets and to benefit from economies of scope across multiple profit and service capabilities. For customers, these solutions offer better value than the products and services that went before. After all, who would not prefer a “solution” to their business problems rather than simply buying services and products?
Read full article via Understanding Customers in the Solution Economy – David Midgley – Harvard Business Review.