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Analyzing Customer Chains to Open New Opportunities: Moving the Needle
Finding new growth or expansion opportunities can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Yet when you have a broad understanding of the players in your customer chains, it’s as if you have an industrial-strength magnet to pull that needle from the haystack. This is one way to envision how analyzing your customer chains and understanding the different players and their needs can lead to identifying high growth opportunities or when to move on from the haystack because the needle just isn’t there.
In a recent blog post, we discussed the choices B2B companies have when considering their organic growth strategies. Companies can:
1) Expand with the market
2) Take a bigger share of the existing market
3) Develop new applications of products
While this approach can be easy to conceptualize, it may be difficult to actualize. One key technique at Blue Canyon to uncover insights that will lead to successful organic growth strategies is analyzing the customer chain, as demonstrated in the following case study.
A global technology company, specializing in power systems, cooling, and IT infrastructure management engaged Blue Canyon to identify potential opportunities for a new solution.
Blue Canyon conducted analyzed potential applications for a new solution across two verticals previously believed to have high growth potential: retail banking and retail sales. This assessment identified little growth opportunity as these verticals were moving away from deploying the systems that our client’s solutions supported. The targeted segments of retail banking and retail sales did not have a compelling need for the capabilities and benefits the solution provided, and therefore the potential opportunity with end customers was limited.
A broad customer chain view and a detailed understanding of our client’s capabilities allowed us to align them with the unmet needs of another player in the customer chain. We uncovered that our client could serve as a component supplier to OEMs that were now providing self-contained equipment to these end customer segments. It would be a shift in resource allocation for targeting and selling, but utilizing the same technology and capabilities that already existed in the client’s solution.
This new application of the same solution with a different player in the customer chain opened up an entirely different target market with high potential. Considering only one path would have meant a missed opportunity. However, customer chain analytics opened up new possibilities for growth.
In developing an understanding of what each player in the customer chain does, what needs they have, what value they can add and, most importantly, how these dynamics are changing, companies can identify more profitable opportunities and begin to move the needle towards sustainable growth.