Forever 21 : What is your strength – that customers value?

It is sad to see that Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy. Their backstory is fascinating and the 5 minute video backstory of Korean immigrants achieving the “American Dream” by Business Insider is worth watching. 
Unlike the typical sad “decline of US malls”  story and rise of “online retail” the Forever 21 story has important lessons for all businesses. It is also an eerie reminder of the the New Coke fiasco,  To recap, Coca Cola did not realize in the eighties that customers did not drink Coke for taste but  it was all about being American – a much deeper meaning.

7 Questions for your Business Model

All businesses, large and small have a business model. Even if you don’t label it as such. The term “business model” makes you think of mega businesses like Amazon, Netflix or Uber and the technology angle seems inapplicable to your business. If you are a small business, you rarely think of your business as havingContinue reading “7 Questions for your Business Model”

Why its safe to put out most of your market research as web content

Businesses large and small seem scared of putting out their market research on their websites. Common concerns we have heard are: Our competitors will know how we think about the market Our market insights  are our “secret” – sauce- why share the recipe And the one we like best: Speech is silvery but silence isContinue reading “Why its safe to put out most of your market research as web content”

Dealing with the power and politics of B2B buying centers

We get frequent questions from innovative solution sellers about how to deal with the power and politics of B2B Buying Centers. This is after you have started talking with people at a prospective customer organization. And yet a deal doesn’t seem to be coming through.Here is our take and we hope this makes our dearContinue reading “Dealing with the power and politics of B2B buying centers”

Front end of new projects: The challenge of engaging clients,bosses and colleagues

The primary challenge for their innovation teams, according to the Innovation head of a Fortune 50 corporation, is to consciously engage the bosses at the front end of the project. The bosses sign off on initial costs and then when things progress to the stage of making prototypes and trial production- the bosses suddenly wakeContinue reading “Front end of new projects: The challenge of engaging clients,bosses and colleagues”

India 7% growth rate: Ola,Uber and car pooling apps

Over the winter break India was an exhilarating and at times an overwhelming experience. The top growth rate of the world at 7% and young people moving fast in an ancient culture added to the exciting nature of the experience. Here are some examples: The Private Taxi Business is over and Ola and Uber haveContinue reading “India 7% growth rate: Ola,Uber and car pooling apps”

High velocity B2B New Product marketing: Ignore 5000 prospects

High velocity B2B marketing is critical for new B2B products, whether launched by innovative start-ups or by established organizations. You want to have a significant customer base for your new product as soon as possible. Market Segmentation is that early step in marketing strategy that urges the marketer to focus resources for results. In aContinue reading “High velocity B2B New Product marketing: Ignore 5000 prospects”

New Product B2B marketers and the junior manager prospect: problem or opportunity?

You are trying to sell your new accounts receivable system and are talking to the Asst. A/C receivable and occasionally to the Manager-Accounts of a B2B prospect. No junior or middle manager would like to admit that they have a problem when faced with a new B2B solution that has the potential to vastly improveContinue reading “New Product B2B marketers and the junior manager prospect: problem or opportunity?”

Is your innovation R&D intensive or customer intensive?

R&D Intensive innovation: It was a bio-technology strategy executive who explained when asked why it is hard to produce “made in the garage” innovations in biotechnology. The problem is that in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research you need labs, teams and a lot of money and time to come up with a blockbuster cure. You cannotContinue reading “Is your innovation R&D intensive or customer intensive?”

Dentists beware: folks are ordering braces online

The news that many folks are actually ordering dental braces online is shocking for dentists and is an example of a service that you thought was “inseparable,” but is actually getting separated at the individual customer level. For sure not everyone will be ordering dental braces online and bypassing the dentist, but almost everyone willContinue reading “Dentists beware: folks are ordering braces online”