B2B, or business to business marketing, involves selling of a company’s services or products to another company. Consumer marketing and B2B marketing are really not that different. Basically, B2B uses the same principles to market its product but the execution is a little different. B2B buyers make their purchases solely based on price and profit […]
Switzerland – a tiny country with few natural advantages – has become incredibly successful in the world of banking, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and more. James Breiding, author of the bestselling book, Swiss Made, explores the enabling factors for innovation in Switzerland. He makes the point that when an entrepreneur comes up with a new and innovative method or product, there will be resistance from those who have accepted the status quo. Entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs need to have thick skin if they wish to disrupt the market.
Today, almost any B2B firm claims to be “customer-oriented”. However, only few firms have a rigorous and stringent system that integrates the “best” (B2B) customers into its innovation process – where “best” in this context is measured not by volume of sales but by contribution to the firm’s innovation. A lot of insight has been generated on how to engage consumers in the innovation process. There is also a growing body of knowledge about how to innovate openly on the R&D side of the innovation process. But little has been written up so far about how to systematically integrate B2B customers in the firm’s Open Innovation system. innovation-3’s Frank Mattes closes this gap by sharing some insights.
What are the differences and similarities on open innovation between B2B and B2C companies? Stefan Lindegaard outlines two differences and four similarities. He also cautions that B2C companies shouldn’t just consider crowdsourcing as their sole open innovation strategy. They need to get more kinds of input than just talking to consumers. The good news for both types of companies is that they can benefit from challenge-driven innovation initiatives, where they would use a third party like InnoCentive or IdeaConnection to help companies connect with “solvers” to help develop fresh insights and solutions.
What does it take for companies to market new, innovative capabilities as a service? The challenge to expand beyond products is daunting, but as market exemplars show, the returns on the investment can be worth it. The case studies explored in this article illustrate the extent to which services demand a premium in the market, drive differentiation from the competition, and build loyalty.