December 14th, 2014

Evaluating Ideas: Criteria to Foster Customer Intimacy

When developing Service Chains™ it is important to evaluate their business value and your ability to implement them in the market. At McMann & Ransford, we recommend tracking the following criteria to help foster customer intimacy:

August 12th, 2014

Leading with Ideas: The Key to Customer Intimacy

Let’s take some time and discuss the power of ideas and their importance as the central component of a True Solutions.  Good ideas facilitate the road to true customer intimacy. 

A solution is the embodiment of an idea – and how the idea can be realized.  The idea is the kernel of the change in the relationship from pushing products and discussing business opportunities.  Often conversations that are supposed to be about solutions are really about how to better use our products and get more bang for the buck in our relationship; these are valuable issues but not True Solutions™ discussions. 

July 2nd, 2014

Marketing & Customer Intimacy

In the simplest sense, marketing has a direct role in market strategy, participation strategy, and enabling the success. Because of their unique role and perspective on the business, marketing owns or is heavily involved in the strategy of the business, and often drives the decision-making process of how to address commoditization issues.

March 10th, 2014

Innovating Past the Customer: The Limits of Innovation

In our line of work, we often see companies which innovate past the point that customers need or will pay for. 

We have seen this phenomenon in almost every B2B product group.

The cause?  A mistaken belief or assumption that companies can compete only through continuous innovation which is translated as continuous product differentiation.  At a certain point this leads to product over-engineering – too many features, product bloat, unnecessary complexity, and product extensions which customers dislike.  Technology replaces common sense.

September 28th, 2013

Keeping Momentum: The Customer Intimacy Transformation Challenge

Anything worth doing is, by definition, challenging and requires fortitude. How do you keep the organization focused and maintain the momentum?  

Let’s keep in mind that companies have difficulty focusing for long periods of time and (like children) want immediate gratification. Therefore you and those who are like minded must be responsible for getting them on the journey and keeping them on the path.  

August 2nd, 2013

Customer Intimacy Incubation: Organizational Issues

As we mentioned earlier there will be natural forces within the company that will work against its success – normal, but they can be destructive, as we see in many public cases of organizational transformation attempts.

Internecine warfare is a common reaction when you set about changing your business model. It’s not simply a go-to-market adjustment.  When building a customer intimacy business model, their are several unique attributes that cannot, and must not, be compromised:

May 28th, 2013

Customer Intimacy: Getting Buy-In & Making the Case for Change

The Customer Intimacy journey requires focus for an extended period of time, and even when companies take the long view, living through the natural disappointments of this size of business model transformation can discourage the best organizations. 

Thus, the importance of gaining a shared view of the business cannot be overstated.

There is no consistent way for organizations to absorb and adopt truth. But, I think understanding what they need – depending on type of organization and driver of decisions – helps in gaining a shared view.

March 4th, 2013

The Customer Intimacy Journey: A Blueprint for Change

The challenge for any significant change initiative is maintaining motivation and focus throughout the effort. Most change initiatives fail because of this very issue. Both individuals and corporations suffer from this phenomenon – personal improvement (like weight loss) is difficult because the change in habit must be maintained for a long period of time without … Continue reading “The Customer Intimacy Journey: A Blueprint for Change”

January 30th, 2013

The Sustainable Advantage: Shifting Mindsets and Business Models from Innovation to Customer Intimacy

What’s wrong with driving your business using the historic S-curve (innovation) model?  The innovation model has virtually dominated all literature, organization design, sales training, and investment strategies since the world economic boom following World War II. This is the common and erroneous management belief that we can continue to grow our business by improving current … Continue reading “The Sustainable Advantage: Shifting Mindsets and Business Models from Innovation to Customer Intimacy”