How To Think About Turning Your Products Into Services

The most innovative companies know that even when they’re selling a product, they’re actually selling the function that it provides. How do you turn your product-based company into one that provides services? Here are three simple principles you can use to escape the commodity market and turn anything you do into a valuable service:

The first way to turn your products into services is to reinvent how you charge for what you do, which can propel your offering into a whole new market category. The goal is simple: Redefine your existing products in ways that shift the financial model away from selling a good to selling a service. Ask yourself: What problem am I really solving? What deeper need am I really addressing?

The second way is to expand them. Customers usually buy and use products within a broader context to solve complex problems or meet broader needs. The goal is simple: Create new services that complement what you’re already successfully doing and that extend the value you provide. Ask yourself: What else can I do that reinforces what I’m selling? What can I help my customers do, learn, or experience that ties to what I’m already doing?

The third way to transform products into services is to digitize them. Most companies have already embraced digital channels for marketing. But when it comes to service innovation, it’s still an open playing field. The goal: Transform taken-for-granted manual processes, physical products, or traditional services into mobile or web-based offerings. Ask yourself: How can I digitize products and processes to reinforce what I already provide or create a completely new offering?

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