Follow customers on path to success
Monday, November 12, 2018
In this issue’s round table discussion, of the many interesting topics covered one in particular stood out: that there are two types of print businesses – those that are focused on products and those focused on services.
It especially piqued my interest when juxtaposed with the round-up of the fortnight’s news overleaf, which seems to feature an unseasonably high number of collapsed businesses.
Because it got me thinking, looking through the roll-call of doom, that perhaps product-focused businesses are more vulnerable to the pressures of the modern print industry than their service-driven counterparts.
That’s not to say that product-focused businesses can’t be successful, plenty are. But generally speaking the key to success in a productised or commoditised market takes serious investment in the latest technology, an obsession with driving down costs and waste and a culture dedicated to streamlining processes to the nth degree.
Without all of the above, it would be unfeasible to compete long-term in an arena where your USP can only revolve around your pricing.
While companies adopting the service-oriented model, while not completely immune to price pressures, have a great opportunity to define their USP in any number of ways: expertise, flexibility, customer service, quality... The list, and the opportunities to shine, are virtually endless.
But then perhaps that choice creates its own challenges – after all, not many companies can pull off more than one USP. So, perhaps the secret to survival is less about ‘how’ you define your business, and more about ‘who’ defines it.
Because as one of our round table delegates highlighted, the best route to success is to stop looking inwards and start looking outwards, and follow the path set by your customers.