Why do your customers choose to buy from you instead of your competition? In the past three years of marketing professors Mark Vandenbosch and Niraj Dawar this issue more than 1,500 managers have asked in interviews and group discussions. And despite the variety of industries represented by the executives they probed the answers they got were remarkably similar: Customers often appreciate how they interact with their suppliers as much or more than what they are actually buying. How … Read more »

Why do your customers choose to buy from you instead of your competition? In the past three years of marketing professors Mark Vandenbosch and Niraj Dawar this issue more than 1,500 managers have asked in interviews and group discussions. And despite the variety of industries represented by the executives they probed the answers they got were remarkably similar: Customers often appreciate how they interact with their suppliers as much or more than what they are actually buying. As the key drivers of customer choice, the executives cited cost-based factors such as convenience, ease of doing business, and product support and risk-based factors such as trust, confidence, and the strength of relationships. Strategies around reducing customer interaction costs and risk were built to provide a systematic way to the customer tap into new sources of value, while avoiding the often futile attempt to compete on product innovation. The authors illustrate five different strategies that some companies use to build a sustainable advantage.
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Mark Vandenbosch,
Niraj Dawar
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
10 pages.
Release Date: 1 July 2002. Prod #: SMR084-PDF-ENG
Beyond Better Products: Capturing Value in Customer Interactions HBR case solution

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