There are times when even features themselves can seem intangible. Benefits arising from a feature like fuel efficiency seem easier to identify than benefits arising from a feature like “brand.” When faced with a situation like this, B2B product and marketing teams are tasked with the challenge of finding hidden economic value in order to differentiate their products from competitors.
To find the hidden economic value, you need to break the intangible feature into tangible components. Consider the intangible differential feature of “strong brand reputation.” Good questions to ask to help find the tangible components include:
- What does brand mean to a typical customer?
- Why do customers buy from you?
- Why should customers care about reputation?
One response to the question could be: “Our brand means that we have the most reliable product in the industry.” But it is important to probe deeper and consider items such as:
- Why is that important to the customer?
- Why do customers care about reliability?
- How does a typical customer benefit from better reliability?
One response could be: “Because unplanned downtime is a big issue for customers.” This is a clue that seems more tangible.
Once you begin to see tangible differentials, you can ask questions that enable you to visualize how the customer benefits impact your customers’ business operations like:
- How often does that happen?
- How does that impact a customer’s operations?
- How do you measure the cost of unplanned downtime?
Discussing value transparently helps to gain acknowledgment of the value delivered. Once that is done, there are many avenues to capturing more of the created value and gaining larger share of wallet or market, longer-term relationships, and more favorable pricing, too. The more value you can identify, the better range of strategic options you have available.
To access the white paper Unraveling the Mystery of Intangible Value by Ed Arnold, click here.
About Ed Arnold
Ed Arnold is VP, Products at LeveragePoint. Previously, he held senior positions at Communispace, Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, and OmniTech Consulting Group. He directs product design and development and drives the go-to-market strategy for LeveragePoint. Mr. Arnold holds an MBA in Marketing from New York University and MA and BA degrees in Political Science from Boston University.