Business Marketing; Understand What Customers Value
In this article, authors James Anderson, professor at the Kellogg Graduate School, Northwestern University, and James Narus, associate professor at the Babcock Graduate School, Wake Forest University, illustrate several ways in which suppliers can figure out exactly what their offerings are worth by creating and using what they call customer value models. Field value assessments--the most commonly used method for building customer value models--call for suppliers to gather data about their customers firsthand whenever possible. Through these assessments, a supplier can build a value model for an individual customer or for a market segment, drawing on data gathered from several customers in that segment. Suppliers can use customer value models to create competitive advantage in several ways. First, they can capitalize on the inevitable variation in customers' requirements by providing flexible market offerings. Second, they can use value models to demonstrate how a new product or service they are offering will provide greater value. Third, they can use their knowledge of how their market offerings specifically deliver value to craft persuasive value propositions. And fourth, they can use value models to provide evidence to customers of their accomplishments. Doing business based on value delivered gives companies the means to get an equitable return for their efforts. Once suppliers truly understand value, they will be able to realize the benefits of measuring and monitoring it for their customers.
- 1998 Harvard Business School Publishing - HBR
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