Increasing value with digital might help if you’re: struggling to stay ahead of the competition; desire a deeper connection with customers; wanting better customer experiences.
Rogan Hounsell-Roberts was a founder of a successful scale-up; has helped organisations across many sectors achieve success; is a founder of KR5 Consulting; and has a passion for helping ambitious business owners scale-up and exit.
If you have an existing product or service, then using digital to increase value might be for you. Increasing value using digital is the least disruptive change as it adds to what you already do. In this article we take a look at three approaches to take a fresh look at your business.
Business strategy on the right track?
This is part-two of a four-part series “Business strategy on the right track?”. Our series takes a journey, looking at fresh, exciting and new ways of looking at your business using digital. When it’s easy to think it can only work one way, it’s great to have a change of view to see how it might be better.
Part-one introduced the series by asking “What is digital strategy, and can it help me scale?”. In the coming weeks part-three looks at changing the way we do business in “Cost structure – thinking differently”. Then, finally in part-four, “Digital value chain – breaking the mould” looks at companies that surprise everyone when they come out of left field.
Increasing value through personalisation
How could you meet your customer needs more accurately? If you could offer different options or deliver digitally, what are the opportunities? Where would you use personalisation in your business – sales, support, production, delivery?
When I grew up there were three TV channels. When I got home from school, children’s TV lasted until about 5:30pm when the adult news started. The choice was between broadcasts at the time. Until recorders, you had to plan your time around a favourite show or film. If you were late, you’d accept missing the start.
There is increasing value when moving from analogue broadcast to digital streaming. Using BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, you choose what to watch, when and for how long. There is increasing customer value through a wide selection and watching on-demand.
Beyond training courses and newspapers moving online, what are other examples of personalisation? How about: online ordering such as Amazon; finding support documents using a serial number; buying spares using a model number; custom ordering such as Vistaprint; or buying a song online instead of an album in store.
We can increase value to customers by thinking differently about how we meet their needs. Instead of bundling things that customers don’t need, could selling only what’s needed open up new markets – for example modules in an online software service with tiered pricing. Digital provides ways to allow customers to choose what they want, how they want it delivered, and for you to price accurately based on their needs.
Increasing value through information
How can we make buying decisions easier? What information might be valuable to a customer?
Ever had concerns about buying a new sofa? What will it look like and will it fit? The Ikea Place app uses augmented reality to check if furniture will fit in your home. You use the app on your tablet to view your room with the item added to the picture. Cars have a huge amount of data. The “Skoda Connect App” allows you to access information remotely. You can check how much fuel you’ve got and if you locked the car. You might also want to check out our article on “Innovation of technology in Scale-ups”.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) there’s more scope for sensors. In the SensorCity news “SportScientia revolutionises football performance with help from LCR 4.0”, a trainer with a smart insole collects data that can be used by an athlete, coach or physio to prevent injury.
Information is valuable and sharing that might increase the value to your customers. That might be as simple as a room calculator for paint, to a prompt to reorder a replacement part, or more complex as in the examples above. What information do you have that could be valuable? What information does your customer want that you don’t yet collect?
The other way of increasing value is by giving more control. Years ago, you had to be at home to change the heating. Now with home automation, you can control pretty much anything remotely. We recently installed a “ADAX WiFi” wall heater that allows us to remotely control the heating. We can even monitor the room temperature. I’d imagine the business started with making regular heaters and increased the value by adding a digital remote control.
That control can be very high-tech too, for example the “Nike Adapt” trainer. During sports, needs change for example feet can swell or trainers need to be looser during breaks. The trainer has tiny motors and gears that can change the tension in the shoe!
In this article we’ve shared ideas about how digital can create personalised customer experiences, provide valuable information and enable control. We hope that this has been food for thought in thinking about your business in a fresh way. Look out for the next article in this series, looking at using digital to take a fresh look at cost structure.
At KR5 Consulting, we’re here to help business leaders achieve their vision. Your goal might be to grow & scale, turnaround or exit. Through understanding your business, we uniquely assist you to reach your destination. We help you plan, choose software, build, and deliver your projects. Our purpose is to help you accelerate, increase profits, scale-up, acquire customers and beat the competition.
If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at firstname.lastname@example.org – to arrange an informal chat.
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