How do you Create New Value in a Commodity Market? Six Suggestions

Interview with Dirk Boecker, President, Toto Consulting

Situation:  Through the technology revolution in medical diagnostics, products in some markets have become commoditized. For example, a proliferation of low cost blood glucose monitoring products has driven down price while increasing incidence and prevalence of diabetes has driven up demand. How do you create new value in a commodity market?

Advice:

  • Taking a broader view of the market is key. Analyze the entire customer experience, not just your segment. Assess markets and industries surrounding your primary offering and look for un-served interfaces and gaps.
    • Where you find opportunity, elevate your offering to the next level by integrating your product as component. Create a compelling advantage but avoid unnecessary adaptation of your existing product or service.
    • Blood glucose monitoring is used to support insulin and diet adjustment in diabetics, a disease which is accompanied by a number of complications and complex to manage. Can your monitoring technology become part of a broader service offering, or even part of a personalized solution? Can you move higher up in the value chain?
  • Begin your transformation at the first signs of commoditization. Being first brings a huge advantage.
  • Once you identify an unmet need, consider working with related industry groups to create new standards addressing these gaps. Implementing the resulting standards will give you a new competitive advantage against your competitors.
  • Find other applications for your product or service. Consider new applications for the components used in your current offering. Find new customers outside of your historic customer base. Consider alliances with other companies experienced with the new opportunities you find.
  • Within your own organization begin a process that routinely analyzes the customer experience and general needs beyond your current offering. Working with an outside consultant can help by adding a new perspective.

You can contact Dirk Boecker at dirkboecker@mac.com

Key Words: Commodity, Differentiation, Market Identification, Market Research, Competition, Product Advantage, Competitive Advantage, Unmet Need, Standards, Alliance, Process, Consultant 

2 thoughts on “How do you Create New Value in a Commodity Market? Six Suggestions

  1. Tom Spanier

    Good list- implicit in your recommendations is understanding that the commodity may be the product, but the total customer experience you deliver is the real value proposition- look at the entire value chain -how you fulfill the need can differentiate-things like convenience, service reliability, delivery/fulfillment and carrying cost, financing terms.

  2. Sandy Post author

    Thanks, Tom. I couldn’t agree more that we have to look at the total customer experience as the value proposition. This opens up many new ways to create differentiation.

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