“Because the purpose of business is to create (and retain) a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.” Peter Drucker
More than half a century later it still rings true.
Why marketing? Marketing helps acquire customers by co-creating products and services that offer customers real and meaningful value, and it helps retain them by co-creating memorable and compelling experiences.
Why Innovation? Ah, here lies the rub, as the bard said. Customers’ needs, wants, and desires change. Technologies change, new competition emerges. Companies can’t afford to have customers ripping potato chip bags with their teeth.
Innovate or die is no mere hyperbole, it is the stark reality of today’s business.
1. Customer-First Mindset: still a slogan for most companies
2. Value Proposition: benefits and solutions, not features; customers buy ¼” holes, not ¼” drills
3. Customer Experience: most potent customer retention tool
4. Innovation: customer value and business models
5. Sources of Growth: customers, markets, geographies
In his book, strategy and branding consultant Gaurav Bhalla presents a concrete framework to help companies systematically and effectively design and implement collaborative innovation programs with their customers that can be applied in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer contexts.