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The Third Way: Decision 4-How Will You Deliver Your Innovations?

Posted by Chip Block on December 18, 2018 2:25 PM EST
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This could be a key decision because in a world of integrated solutions and seemingly one in which supply often exceeds demand....

...making the right call on how you deliver-distribute-an integrated solution is one that can make or break the product set, regardless of the perceived or real value to each of the component innovations surrounding the core product or service.

Making decision four work for the whole product, its innovations and the core product whereby the innovations that surround the core product are not free-standing values in and of themselves may be a bit of both art and science.  For many core products, services will be a key innovation that may make the core product more valuable or provide new usage context for the complete integrated solution.  On the other hand, in a world of services, the key component of delivery or distribution may be key to the service itself.  There may not be a product in the physical sense, but the physicality of using the right combination of high-tech and high-touch or place as a physical location for delivering the service bundle may matter a lot-by giving permanence, ease of location or access and perhaps a form of ensuring support beyond the website or self-service platform by which the service may typically be delivered.

The interesting phenomenon of personal in-place service is a key element to the appeal of Apple computing products in elegant but often crowded Apple retail stores.  On the other hand, having a way for customers to order items online and then pick them up at a physical store could be valuable to folks-consider Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, or and the idea of picking up orders at the store nearby one's home.

In all cases, the concept of making it easy for the consumer to access the product and service bundle, use it quickly and in the manner the consumer prefers is an essential element to creating value and making the innovations that support the core product or service a "game-changing integrated product bundle".  Recall the easy is an acronym, that can be thought of as "effective" (product delivered accurately and on time", "affordable (product delivery doesn't cost me extra money or isn't full of add-on sales pitches, "simple" (hassle free delivery, either over the Internet or delivered to one's home or office) and "YOU" (the customer is in charge of which delivery channel and other factors the new product set is provided to him or her.

While this blog post concludes the four elements of "The Third Way" of implementing innovations, it represents an important consideration in all products and services.  Place matters and matters even more in the busy and budget-conscious consumer world of the modern era.

There is 1 comment



I like this blog post and the series on "The Third Way". It sort of fits in between the space between "sustained innovations", those that are important improvements in existing products and services and "disruptive innovations" that actually open up products and new services to new customers who've been "overshot". It brings some pragmatism to the model and improves the odds that the new concept will work.
That said, it's particularly important in the area of delivery and distribution that providers of new integrated services and products have an understanding of the delivery and distribution preferences or requirements that the targeted customer segment (or ancillary markets that find the newly integrated solution set attractive. Just my two cents worth...

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Joe Antle

7 months ago

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