Insights

How to Fight Off Fast-to-Market Low-Cost Competitors

How to Fight Off Fast-to-Market Low-Cost Competitors

It’s a well-known fact that companies who achieve success with high-value products are inevitably faced with…

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Old Way New Way

Do You Need to Transform Your Business Model?

When your industry undergoes significant change or your internal goals shift, you must seriously consider whether…

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B2B Distribution: Supplier Sourcing Strategies, Pt. 2

In part 2 of our blog B2B Distribution: Optimizing Your Product Portfolio, we identify 3 supplier…

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B2B Distribution Optimizing Your Product Portfolio

B2B Distribution: Optimizing Your Product Portfolio, Pt. 1

As a distributor in business-to-business (B2B) markets, expanding your product portfolio may seem like the quickest…

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eCommerce strategy

The 3 Key Objectives of an eCommerce Strategy

eCommerce drives profitable growth by expanding customer reach, reducing cost-to-serve, and creating differentiated customer experiences. Utilizing…

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The Trade Wars with China

The Trade War with China

A major topic in many of our business discussions these days is the trade war with…

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eCommerce Strategy

Setting the Foundation for an Effective B2B eCommerce Strategy

When it comes to eCommerce, it’s time for B2B suppliers to move from reactive to proactive.…

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Digital Strategy

Understanding the Approach to a Successful Digital Strategy

Internet of Things (IoT) has become a key topic across a wide range of industries, and…

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Launching a Revolutionary New Product

Launching Revolutionary Products in Slow-Changing Markets: Who to Target? What to Charge? When to Launch? (Pt. 2)

In Pt. 2, we continue with a closer look at the 3 key questions to ask…

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Launching a Revolutionary Product

Launching Revolutionary Products in Slow-Changing Markets: Who to Target? What to Charge? When to Launch? (Pt. 1)

What makes a product or service revolutionary? Its cost/pricing structure, its impact on end-users, its potential…

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Disruptive Technologies & Trends

New, Disruptive Technologies & Trends in Your Industry: Hype or Reality?

New, disruptive technologies and trends can provide opportunities for growth. But as an enterprise or business…

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Listen to the Marketplace

3 Goals to Successfully Listen to the Marketplace

At a recent suppliers’ conference, one of our clients looked at the phones, tablets, and laptops…

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Digital Disruption Strategy

How to Thrive in a Disruptive World

More and more business-to-business (B2B) markets are undergoing dramatic transformation, upending entire market structures, and threatening…

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Customer Insights

How to Get Extraordinary Customer Insights

What is good insight from a B2B customer and how do you get it? Voice of Customer…

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Digital Solutions, IoT, Digital Commerce, Advanced Data Analytics, Digital Strategy

Digital Solutions are Sweeping through the Cleaning Industry: Applying Lessons Learned to Your Industry

Across many industries, manufacturers and distributors are seeking approaches to create successful digital strategies. The cleaning…

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Good Questions Best-in-Class Customers

Asking Good Questions Leads to Having Best-in-Class Customers

In a workshop with a client’s supply chain executives, we were discussing the attributes of a…

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Effective Pricing Improvement Strategy to Accelerate Growth

Accelerate Top- and Bottom-Line Growth with an Effective Pricing Strategy

Pricing is a powerful lever to accelerate top- and bottom-line growth. A well thought out pricing…

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Customizing Your Branding and Pricing Strategies to the Needs of Your Customers

Customizing Your Branding & Pricing Strategies to the Needs of Your Customers

Branding and pricing are two of the most important strategies driving success in business-to-business (B2B) markets.…

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B2B Brand Strategy

Customer-Written Plans for Brands and Pricing: Positioning for Success in Complex Customer Chains

As suppliers to business markets face shareholder demands for top-line-driven profitable growth, brand and pricing decisions…

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Customer Experience

Shaping the Perspective of Your Customer’s Experience

Leading academics, business researchers, and practitioners from best practice companies often conclude that paying attention to…

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5 Key Themes in B2B eCommerce

Although eCommerce has been a disruptive force across many business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, for many business-to-business (B2B)…

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5 Key Themes in B2B eCommerce

Although eCommerce has been a disruptive force across many business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, for many business-to-business (B2B)…

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Chinese B2B Customers

How to Succeed with Chinese B2B Customers Today

A number of our business-to-business (B2B) clients are now needing to take a long-term look at…

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New Ways to Drive Profitable Growth

Unlearning Untruths: Finding New Ways to Drive Profitable Growth

The concept of unlearning bad habits came up at a recent conference. Speakers and participants alike…

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Expanding Your Product Portfolio for Price-Sensitive Segments

The Strategic Rationale for Expanding Your Product Portfolio to Serve More Price-Sensitive Segments

Various market pressures can lead business-to-business (B2B) companies with premium offerings to expand their product portfolios…

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New Strategies for the New China

New Strategies for the New China

Business executives are now being forced to look at long-term operations in China with fresh eyes.…

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Price Conflict Strategic Account Relationships

Is Price Conflict Disrupting Your Strategic Account Relationships?

Imagine that your company has put in place a bold new plan for growth. The plan…

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Positive Pricing Customer Experience

How to Create Positive Pricing Experiences

Can the topic of price actually enhance the business-to-business (B2B) customer experience? We’re not talking about…

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Product Portfolio Strategies for Price-Sensitive Segments

Look Before You Leap: Product Portfolio Strategies for Price-Sensitive Segments

Often companies believe it will be easy to expand their offerings into more price-sensitive segments, assuming…

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Capturing Value through Innovation Unsophisticated Customers

The Challenge of Capturing Value through Innovation: Unsophisticated Customers, Pt. 2

In Pt. 1 of this series, we introduced a business executive who reached out to Blue…

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Capturing Value through Innovation

The Challenge of Capturing Value through Innovation: Show Them the Money, Pt. 1

After reading CoDestiny: Overcome Your Growth Challenges by Helping Your Customers Overcome Theirs, a business executive…

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roadblocks digital transformation

The 4 Major Roadblocks of Digital Transformation in Industrials/ Manufacturing

Most business-to-business (B2B) manufacturing leaders understand the importance of digital transformation. They’re open to exploring how…

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Non-Price Levers

How to Utilize Non-Price Levers to Resolve Price Conflict

In our previous blog, The 4 Sources of Price Conflict, we introduced a company opening a…

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B2B Service Company Customer Relationship Advantage

How B2B Service Companies Can Drive Growth Through a Customer Relationship Advantage

As human beings, we rely on strong and lasting relationships to fulfill our personal happiness. There’s…

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Business Services B2B Customer Relationships

Business Services: Building Successful B2B Customer Relationships

As human beings, we rely on strong and lasting relationships to fulfill our personal happiness. There…

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The 4 Sources of Price Conflict

The 4 Sources of Price Conflict

Your company has put in place a bold new plan for growth. The plan involves opening…

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IIoT Strategy

How to Define an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Strategy

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the fascinating vision of a world in which all manner of…

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Brand Architecture

Evolving Your Brand Architecture With The Market

Blue Canyon has begun to see a shift in the attention that business-to-business (B2B) companies are…

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IIoT

Understanding Your Place in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Supply Network

The Internet of Things (IoT)—that fascinating vision of a world in which all manner of devices,…

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Commercializing Your IoT Offering

Commercializing Your Internet of Things (IoT) Offer: Key Questions to Address

In business-to-business (B2B) markets, we are seeing an overabundance of trend setting technology platforms—from eCommerce to…

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Digital Transformation IoT

Digital Transformation: How to Commercialize Your Breakthrough Internet of Things (IoT) Offer

An overabundance of trend setting technology platforms—from eCommerce to the Internet of Things (IoT) with data…

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B2B Business Services Customer Chains

B2B Business Services: Mapping the Customer Chain

In the B2B business services world, change is common. Markets experience change in the form of…

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Needs-Based Segmentation Unlocking Growth

Needs-Based Segmentation: Unlocking Growth

The foundation for any successful growth strategy is knowing your market. Unfortunately, many business-to-business (B2B) companies…

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eCommerce Disruption

eCommerce Disruption in Business-to-Business Markets

The world of business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is fast-evolving. B2B buyers are increasingly demanding the same online…

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Doing business in China

Hitting the Wall in China, Pt. 2

In Pt. 1 of this series, we offered one explanation for reaching an underwhelming market share…

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B2B Business Services

Incorporating Blue Canyon’s Growth Lessons into B2B Business Services

We have written extensively on the strategic challenge of identifying and taking advantage of new growth…

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Hitting the Wall in China

Hitting the Wall in China, Pt. 1

For decades, U.S. companies—like those Blue Canyon advises—have lamented the fact that China’s B2B customers don’t…

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Guidelines for Managing Disruption

3 Guidelines for Managing Disruption

As the U.S. economy continues to expand, and with acquisition multiples hovering at an all-time high,…

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Internet of Things (IoT) Monetization Commercialization

The Impact of Internet of Things (IoT) on Manufacturing: Monetization and Commercialization, Pt. 3

Atlee Valentine Pope, President and CEO of Blue Canyon Partners, recently chaired a panel discussion among…

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The Impact of Internet of Things (IoT) on Manufacturing IoT Acceleration and Key Challenges to Address, Pt. 2

The Impact of Internet of Things (IoT) on Manufacturing: IoT Acceleration and Key Challenges to Address, Pt. 2

Atlee Valentine Pope, President and CEO of Blue Canyon Partners, recently chaired a panel discussion among…

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Internet of Things IoT Strategy

The Impact of Internet of Things (IoT) on Manufacturing: Defining a Strategy, Pt. 1

Atlee Valentine Pope, President and CEO of Blue Canyon Partners, recently chaired a panel discussion among…

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Acquisition Strategy

3 Essential Elements to a Successful M&A Strategy, Pt. 2

In Pt. 1 of this series, we detailed the first of three key elements that needs…

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M&A strategy

3 Essential Elements to a Successful M&A Strategy, Pt. 1

Most firms are motivated to consider M&A as an extension of their growth strategy as a way…

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The Increasing Value of Brand in B2B Markets

In business-to-business (B2B) markets, brand often does not receive as much attention as it should. Many…

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disruptor, disruption, breaking the rules

Rules Don’t Apply: Thinking Like a Disruptor

The fear of headline-grabbing disruptors leave incumbent firms scrambling to prepare themselves. Executives fret over technological…

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B2B Brand Architecture: How to Build Value in a Changing Marketplace

Greater commoditization, the expansion of credible low-cost competitors, increasing variety and complexity of offerings, and the…

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B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce: A Shift in the B2B Customer Buying Experience

The emergence of the millennial eCommerce mindset has fundamentally changed business-to-consumer (B2C) markets; in fact, eCommerce…

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Customer segmentation

Understanding the Shifts in Customer Segmentation

It’s important to establish needs-based segmentation for indirect and direct customers. As we have previously discussed,…

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Identifying and Responding to eCommerce Disruption: A Guide for B2B Suppliers

The world of business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is fast-evolving. B2B buyers are increasingly demanding the same online…

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China's Economy

China’s Economy: A Call to Action for the World’s B2B Suppliers

As we enter 2017, China’s economy continues to evolve beyond exports of cheap manufactured goods and…

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China's Economy

China's Economy: A Call to Action for the World's B2B Suppliers

As we enter 2017, China’s economy continues to evolve beyond exports of cheap manufactured goods and…

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Customer Experience

Customer Experience: Coming Full Circle (Pt. 3)

Note: This article is part three of the series. The first article is “Customer Experience: Every…

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Customer Experience

Customer Experience: The Role of Company Culture (Pt. 2)

Note: This article is part two of the series. The first article is “Customer Experience: Every…

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Customer Experience

Customer Experience: Every Employee, Every Interaction, Every Day (Pt. 1)

Every business owner dreads it: getting an earful from a customer about a less-than-pleasant experience. As…

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Business-to-Business eCommerce: A Call to Action

When we discussed the state of eCommerce in business-to-business (B2B) markets a year ago, we noted…

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Decision-Making Process

The Risks of Not Making a Decision—and How to Avoid Them

In private equity today, many management teams and their financial sponsors have collaborative relationships: the management…

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A Deeper Approach to Segmentation: 3 Steps to Develop Application-Based Segmentation

Many business-to-business organizations segment their marketplace based on easily discernable attributes—such as industry, size, and/or location—and…

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China's Auto and Housing Markets

China’s Booming Auto and Housing Markets

As a follow up to our previous blog post, Is China on Track to Reach Growth Targets?,…

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China's Auto and Housing Markets

China's Booming Auto and Housing Markets

As a follow up to our previous blog post, Is China on Track to Reach Growth Targets?,…

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China's Economy

Is China’s Economy on Track to Reach Growth Targets?

China Retreats from the Headlines as Solid Growth Returns As foreign leaders were arriving in Hangzhou,…

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China's Economy

Is China's Economy on Track to Reach Growth Targets?

China Retreats from the Headlines as Solid Growth Returns As foreign leaders were arriving in Hangzhou,…

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Stay Ahead of the Game: How to Recognize and Respond to Disruption

Significant changes in your market that call into question the very nature of your business and…

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Internet of Things

Creating Success Stories from the Internet of Things

It’s rare that a day goes by without seeing an article in the business press about…

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Disruption

Know Your Risk: Looking for Disruption in Your Market

Disruption fundamentally changes markets. Incumbent firms faced with this substantial change must respond decisively in order…

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Business Model

Evaluating Your Business Model

When clients come to Blue Canyon to evaluate their current business model, they want to know…

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Four Pillars of Customer Focus

Four Pillars of Customer Focus

We operate in a fast-paced world where change seems to be a daily occurrence and competitors…

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Does Customer Centricity Pay Off? An Assessment of the Benefits of Customer Centricity in B2B Organizations

Customer centricity has become a popular initiative implemented by B2B organizations, but few resources are available…

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Disruption

What’s Your Play? A B2B Executive’s Guide to Identifying and Creating Disruption

Disruption can upend the entire structure of a market and jeopardize a firm’s profitability; however, it…

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Create Value to Drive Productivity

Drive Productivity to Create Value for Your Customers

We help business-to-business (B2B) suppliers create value for their customers (and their customer’s customers) while capturing…

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Monetization Models

Creating and Capturing More Value

With greater focus on product innovation today, business-to-business (B2B) executives are creating more value for their…

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Road

Driving Growth through Monetization

To remain relevant among customers and to secure a leading position among competitors, business-to-business (B2B) companies…

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Channel Management

Channel Management: Recurring Dynamics in B2B Markets

Executives in the business-to-business (B2B) world know that a company’s channel management strategy is fundamental to…

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Branded Channels

The Challenge of Branded Channels

Distributor and dealer relationships can be critical to the success of manufacturers that serve business markets.…

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Corporate Strategies

Back to Basics: Lessons Learned from Q1

After a rocky start the first week of the year, Q1 continued with falling oil prices,…

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Pricing Strategies

Three Reoccurring Principles for Pricing Strategies

Regardless of the state of the economy during a business cycle, pricing strategies are a challenge…

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China Economy

China’s Challenges: The Road Ahead

In our previous blog post, China: Imminent Doom or Necessary Adjustments?, we discussed some observations surrounding…

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China Economy

China: Imminent Doom or Necessary Adjustments?

China continues to be the catalyst for waves of pessimism in international financial markets as the…

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China's Competitive Environment

China’s Future Competitive Environment

‘No Time for Losers’—Is Samsung a precedent? Note: This article is part three of a three…

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Pricing Strategies

How Much Will Your Customers Pay?

In today’s two percent economy, business-to-business companies are challenged to grow. As such, many of these…

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Customer Insights

How Can Customer Insights Ignite Growth?

Conversations with marketplace representatives bring current problems to light. These same conversations, however, also are the sparks…

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Credit Card Payment

How Much Will Your Customers Pay? And How Can You Capture This Value?

Two common, high-level questions we often receive from clients around pricing are: How much will our…

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3 Approaches to Overcome Adoption Barriers

Three Approaches to Overcome Adoption Barriers

Suppliers often face high adoption barriers as more complex, critical equipment (such as transfer switches, generators…

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Value Proposition

Do you Have a Disconnect with Your Customers? Reclaim Your Value Proposition

There are instances where an organization doesn’t need to create an innovative, new offer. Rather a prime…

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eCommerce

The Ripple Effect of eCommerce Across B2B Industries

The topic of eCommerce may seem like old news, and if one were talking in generalities…

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Aftermarket Services

Why Aftermarket Services Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought

In the business-to-business world, there are many different models for providing post-sales support known as aftermarket…

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Aftermarket Services

Why Aftermarket Services Shouldn't be an Afterthought

In the business-to-business world, there are many different models for providing post-sales support known as aftermarket…

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eCommerce

eCommerce in Business-to-Business Markets: Value Creation and Market Disruption in the United States and China

Albeit eCommerce has been a topic of discussion for many years, this channel has recently begun…

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Strategic Issues

Showing Symptoms of Strategic Issues? Call the Doctor!

Imagine two identical doctors. Both are seasoned professionals with many years of experience. However, one doctor…

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China Devalue

China Devalues: What Does It Mean?

China let the value of the yuan decline sharply for several days in a row and…

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Chinese Economy

What's the Status of the Chinese Economy?

The past two months have been an interesting time in China. The stock market’s gyrations made…

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Chinese Economy

What’s the Status of the Chinese Economy?

The past two months have been an interesting time in China. The stock market’s gyrations made…

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Customer Focus

Elevating Customer Focus – More Difficult Than You Think

Typical strategies built around product/service and cost are no longer enough on their own for organizations…

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Disruption

How to Address New Products and Technologies That Threaten To Disrupt Your Business

In a recent issue of Fortune magazine, an article “The War on Big Food” highlighted how…

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Growth Strategy

Growth Strategy: Steps to a Structured Decision

Business-to-business (B2B) companies are frequently pressured to identify the next business or market in which they can succeed…

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Product Development

Bringing the Strategic Account Organization into the Product Development Process

A session I moderated at the Strategic Account Management Association focused on how to bring the…

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How to Develop an Effective B2B Brand Strategy

Effective brand strategy is critical for business success. Companies in the B2C world make this abundantly…

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Four Steps to Develop a Competitive Response for You and Your Channel Partner

In the ever-changing business-to-business space, successful companies are those that know how to adapt when competitors…

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Tap Into Your Aftermarket’s Growth Potential

For certain organizations the aftermarket[1] can be an afterthought, with many companies choosing to invest their…

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Tap Into Your Aftermarket's Growth Potential

For certain organizations the aftermarket[1] can be an afterthought, with many companies choosing to invest their…

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Serving Customers in Emerging Markets: The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown

The opportunities and challenges of serving major customers in emerging markets was my presentation topic at…

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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.…

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Unlocking the Power of Data Analytics

ISBM’s[1] Winter Meeting was all around Analysis, Analytics, and Answers. Charlie Peters, Senior Executive Vice President of…

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How to Measure Customer Focus

Business-to-business (B2B) organizations are increasingly seeing the benefits of becoming more customer-focused and its resulting positive…

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The Case for Organic Growth

With U.S. companies having a lot of cash on the balance sheets and financing availability, the…

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Tread Carefully Before Pursuing an Adjacent Market

Expansion into adjacent markets can be an effective method for achieving growth, but it is often…

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Segmentation

An Approach to Rethinking Segmentation

In many business-to-business organizations we have seen segmentation that is no longer relevant, implemented many years…

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Segmentation

Is it Time to Rethink Segmentation?

Knowing your market is fundamental to developing a growth strategy. Knowing the different customers that make…

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With the Market Returning, How Do You Ensure You Get Your Share?

While the U.S. economy is growing in a lower gear, it is important for U.S business-to-business companies…

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Segmentation

Is it Time to Rethink Segmentation?

Is your organization’s segmentation effective? Is your organization segmenting on customer needs/purchase behaviors? Does your organization’s…

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Don’t Fly by the Seat of Your Pants: Lessons from Airline Pricing Strategies

Airline carriers have primarily functioned on hub-and-spoke networks since industry-wide deregulation in 1978. The approach vastly…

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Becoming More Customer-centric

For business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, customer-centric thinking is the norm. Because B2C companies know that impulse and…

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Is Loss of Trust Creating Business Opportunities in China?

Trust is a headline issue in China. The most dramatic examples of unsafe products—tainted baby formula, dangerous…

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Early Pricing Conflict Warning Signs

In our previous blog post, we discussed three common underlying causes of pricing conundrums along the…

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Three Common Causes of Pricing Conundrums

Across a number of business-to-business industries, pricing issues frequently arise that create conflict within a channel.…

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Three Strategic Dimensions to Effectively Assess Supplier Relationships

Customer relationships can range from painstakingly transactional to highly strategic and collaborative. In all industries suppliers…

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Five Trends to Track in 2015 (and What C-level Executives Need to Know)

If you’re like most business executives, by now you’ve probably seen your fair share of 2015…

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Pricing Conundrums

Understanding and Overcoming Pricing Conundrums

Pricing management is difficult when there are complex customer chains with many steps between the manufacturer…

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How Many Product Options Should Customers Have?

In today’s world, you can order your coffee in a number of different sizes: small, medium,…

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Adjacent Market Assessment

Using Strategic Fit to Identify Adjacent Market Opportunities: A Case Study

For companies that have found success in specific ventures, it may be difficult to identify “what’s…

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Anticipating the Future is Key to Thinking through Strategy

The non-recovery, recovery across the world has been a challenge.  The consensus in the United States…

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Big Data Business Models

Can Big Data Uncover Growth Opportunities?

We live in a world that is being reshaped by the pervasive nature of digital technology.…

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Market Growth Strategy

Beyond Familiar and Emerging Markets: Are Frontier Markets Right for Your Growth Strategy?

Since the Great Recession, dramatic changes have occurred in centers of growth around the world. As…

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Market Growth Strategy

Where Are Future Centers of Growth? Familiar, Emerging, or Frontier

As we near the end of 2014, growth remains elusive for many American companies. The World…

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Pricing and Channel Strategy: The Importance of Understanding Customer Chain Economics

If your company is a business-to-business supplier, most likely its product(s) go to market via complex…

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HBO Channels into a New Market Opportunity

HBO recently unveiled a new strategy for how viewers can access its content. The premium cable…

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How Customer Experience can Inform Value-Based Pricing

For business-to-business companies that struggle to determine the value their product brings to customers and hence…

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Why Segmentation Should Matter to High-Tech Suppliers

Why Segmentation Should Matter to High-Tech Suppliers

In today’s hyper-competitive market where technological solutions seem to advance at the speed of light, high-tech…

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Measuring the Market: The Foundation of a Strong Growth Strategy

Blue Canyon frequently addresses a number of growth topics, ranging from channel strategies to pricing. One…

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Three Building Blocks for a Solid Growth Strategy

Three Building Blocks for Solid Growth Strategy

Are you confused by or unaware of the size of your available market? Are you seeing…

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China Economy

Pathways to Profitable Growth in China

It has become almost a daily occurrence to see a news headline on China’s economy since…

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Innovation

Breakout Growth: The Innovation Competency

Whether it be around an organization’s products, packaging, and/or processes, innovation continues to be a primary…

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Customer Chains

Customer Chains: The Key to Unlocking New Opportunities

Customer chains are a straightforward construct that many organizations could benefit from if managed and understood…

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Cornerstone of Customer Relationships

Converting Customer Challenges into Solutions

In business-to-business (B2B) markets, customer loyalty can accelerate growth and create a competitive advantage. But, loyalty…

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Managing Complex Channel Relationships in the New Economy

Last month, Blue Canyon Partners Principal, David Hartman, moderated a session at the Strategic Account Management…

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Taking Flight: How Data is being used to Create New Business Models and Drive Profitable Growth

Rolls-Royce makes highly sophisticated and costly jet engines for leading airlines around the world. In the…

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Aftermarket

Lessons Learned from the Aftermarket

Businesses that touch the aftermarket most likely are dealing with a host of factors related to…

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Why In-depth Market Understanding is Critical to Growth Strategies in China

As economic uncertainty continues to plague Europe and the U.S. economy returns to albeit slow and…

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Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction: A Roadmap for Strategy Development

A client who was looking to implement a customer satisfaction program in his organization recently approached…

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Is Cloud Computing Living up to the Hype?

Virtually every year since 2009, has promised to be the breakout year for cloud computing that…

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Pricing

Expensive Decisions: Getting Pricing Right

Pricing pressures, commoditization, and competition are just some of the challenges companies face when it comes…

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Learning From Tesla to “Plug In” to Direct Sales Models

Aside from its sleek electric vehicles and new Gigafactory to produce lithium-ion battery cells, Tesla Motors…

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Four Guiding Principles for Quicker Channel Decisions

Blue Canyon is often asked to provide rapid answers to complex problems. When this occurs, I…

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Which Market Share Measure is Right?

“We took our eyes off the ball. The recession hit and we focused on maintaining our…

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What Lenovo’s Acquisition of Motorola Mobility Says About Its Growth Strategy

At the end of January, it was announced that Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility from Google. Much…

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What Lenovo's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility Says About Its Growth Strategy

At the end of January, it was announced that Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility from Google. Much…

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Channel Management

The Imperative for Active Channel Management

Creating value for your customer goes well beyond the product or service. Value often extends throughout…

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Product Development

A Market-Driven Framework: Aligning Product Development and Markets

Product development can make a significant contribution to business growth if such initiatives are correctly focused…

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China Economy

China: The Bad News and The Good News

Spanning over two decades of 10 percent annual economic growth in China, we frequently heard reports…

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Marketing Strategy

A Strategy Diagnostic: How to Optimize the Success of Your Go-to-Market and Get-to-Market Efforts

When it comes to devising and implementing a business growth strategy, those responsible for strategic planning,…

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Big Data Business Models

Creating New Data-Driven Business Models for Profitable Growth

Over the past several years, business-to-business companies have recognized that Big Data should be managed and…

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Customer Chain Channel Management

Channel Management: The Customer Chain – Value Chain Framework

To achieve sustainable growth, best-in-class companies work with their channel partners to periodically review end customer expectations.…

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Adjacent Markets

Adjacent Markets: Choose Your Battles Wisely

Adjacent markets represent attractive growth opportunities for many businesses, but there are many adjacent markets from…

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Growth Choices

Growth Choices: Which Business Units Offer the Greatest Potential?

The lyrics to The Gambler focus on choices: “Know when to hold ’em, know when to…

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Performance Standards

Houston We’ve Got a Problem

The phrase used as the title to this article, taken from the communication by the crew…

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Checklist

Simple Answers and Hard Tasks

Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers.”…

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Why?

Newton Was the One Who Asked 'Why?'

I recently had the opportunity to work with a client that had decided to implement a…

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Customer Input

If I Were You…

In the new television series Touch, the main character Martin Bohm advises another “I wouldn’t do…

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Competition

How to Crush the Competition with Customer Service

Price and product quality can only go so far. Value-added services can help manufacturers differentiate themselves…

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Misjudged Growth Initiative

Sometimes, What You See Is NOT What You Get

In an earlier article on the challenges of managing changes to a firm’s business model, I…

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China's Global 500 List

Thinking About China’s Global 500

How China has combined socialism and market forces is seen vividly in the Global 500 list.…

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Pay Attention to Premarket

Pay Attention to Your Premarket

A number of years ago, I worked with an automotive parts manufacturer, in the division that…

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Are Surprises Foolish Things?

I recently had an appointment with a physician who had also been a friend for some…

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Planning Change and Leading Change

A senior human resources executive in a large manufacturing firm recently made the following comment at…

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Growth Planning Targets

Three Essential Growth-Planning Targets for 2013

Make sure your customer is the right ‘fit’ and look beyond mature markets to boost sales…

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Manufacturing's Future in the US

Manufacturing’s Future in the US

The U.S. is still a market of consequence for the world’s manufacturing companies. What remains uncertain…

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China

China Takes on the Global 500

Fortune just released the list of the 500 largest firms in the world.[1] To us the…

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Globalization

You Thought Globalization Was Hard? It’s Getting Harder.

In an earlier research project on the challenges of making changes to a firm’s business model,…

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Leadership Challenge Being Customer-Facing

The Leadership Challenge in Becoming Customer-Facing

The April 26, 2012 issue of Industry Week featured an article titled New Celanese Chief Pushes…

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Challenges Surrounding Products with Services

The Challenges of Surrounding Products with Services

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a manufacturing client that was part of a…

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Dashboards

Taking Dashboards out of Wonderland

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just…

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China Future Market Second Mouse Companies

The Future Market For Second Mouse Companies

Will Chinese companies begin to evolve and be more like its Western competitors? Note: This article…

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Every Road Will Get You Nowhere

In the past several years, second only to a renewed focus on emerging markets, “developing a…

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Posing Provocative Questions

Bono, U2’s lead vocalist, once observed “We thought that we had the answers, it was the…

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Ten Key Roles of a B2B Corporate Marketing Function

Several months ago a senior marketing executive from a global business-to-business corporation shared the following experience:…

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There Is Money to Be Made in Mice

In a recent meeting with one of the partners in a venture capital firm, he cited…

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Earning a Return on Your “Relationship Fund”

The case study that follows started off a number of years ago with a quite troubling…

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Finding Growth Opportunities During Lackluster Times

Whether or not businesses anticipate lackluster earnings results during the first half of the year, the…

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The Sales You Didn’t Make

Bill Gates once said “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”.  In that…

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Three Cs of GAM

Suppliers can simultaneously respond to their shareholders’ growth expectations and their major customers’ expectations for global…

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I Would Pay 50% More…

In a recent discussion with an executive client, he commented that he believes his hardest challenge…

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Pricing! Pricing! You Can’t Talk about Pricing!

Jim Mora, a former NFL coach, was made famous in a recent beer commercial that featured…

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Don’t Forget "How"

Recently, I worked with a client that was implementing a new “customer partnering” initiative that provided…

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Where’s The Beef?

Many years ago, in a course on information theory, I learned that one way to measure…

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Business Relationships

CoDestiny Relationships Between Manufacturers And Distributors

Atlee Valentine Pope and George F. Brown, Jr. discuss issues that can arise in manufacturer-distributor relationships,…

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What’s Keeping You Awake at Night?

One of my clients recently told me the following story: “We’ve been working with [a certain…

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What's Keeping You Awake at Night?

One of my clients recently told me the following story: “We’ve been working with [a certain…

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From Assessment To Action: Managing Distributor Relationships

One of our clients in the building systems industry asked us to help resolve a dilemma…

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Deleting Voicemail 666

We were having a conversation with one of our clients following a meeting related to their…

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Sales Models In Business Markets With Complex Customer Chains

We have often described “major customer relationships” and “third-party channel relationships” as two of the most…

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A Blueprint for Strong VAR/Vendor Relationships

William Blake, the English poet and painter, has been quoted as saying, “He hasn’t an enemy…

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Whatever Happened To Growth?

Earlier this year, one of our clients invited us to participate in an off-site meeting involving…

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Growth Is A Project

Recently, we asked a procurement executive within a large communications equipment company to describe a supplier…

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Strategic Accounts As Engines of Growth

Last month, we were invited to meet with a marketing and sales executive at a leading…

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Mistakes That Could Have Been Avoided

As we begin to climb slowly out of the deepest, darkest recession on recent record, it’s…

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Two Pricing "Constants"

Alan Perlis, the first head of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie-Mellon University, often told his…

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Two Percent For Looking In The Mirror Twice

Recent work involving the use of pricing analytics has provided some interesting insights about profit management…

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Avoiding The Vicious Cycle Of Pricing

While working on a growth strategy assignment with a major business-to-business supplier, we observed several fascinating…

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Using Service Strategies To Avoid Price Pressures

At a recent workshop, we distributed a “quiz” with 10 quotes which we said were from…

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Innovation: Fuel For Breakout Growth

At a meeting with one of our clients, we provided their executive team with a short…

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Success! Now What?

A company with which our firm worked recently communicated some good news:  They had been selected…

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Out Of Crisis Comes Opportunity

Our title for this article emerged from a recent client project.  We were working with a…

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Offices in Chicago And Chengdu: Managing the Complexity of the China Market

One of our clients is the executive responsible for the Global Accounts served by her company,…

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Rules Of Three: Managing Major Customer Relationships Involving China

Several years ago, we published an article[1] titled “The Unwritten Rules of China”, addressing the complexities…

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Implementation Competencies: Creating Long-Term Growth Foundations

A global industrial systems company found that its business environment was shifting rapidly.  The firm had…

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In-Career Education and Implementation Competencies

Rudy Giuliani once noted that “Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a…

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Pricing Isn’t A Four Letter Word

When the topic of pricing arises, anticipation often follows that the discussion will be unpleasant, putting…

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Make Them An Offer They Can Refuse

In the early 70s, one of the phrases of the day was “Make him an offer…

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You Might Be A Real Chinese Company…

We have recently written that at the top of U.S. firms’ agendas must be bringing some…

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Second Mouse Opportunities For Distributors

We have used the saying “The second mouse gets the cheese” as an analogy for what…

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If Speaking Is Silver, Then Listening Is Gold

A recent project provided an opportunity to examine the relationships between a machinery manufacturer and the…

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Second Mouse Tales From China

While new global market participants are emerging from several countries, the Chinese are our primary example…

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If You Have Too Many Priorities, You Have None

The wisdom inherent in the frequently heard statement “If you have too many priorities, you have…

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Learning from the Fast Learners

In previous articles[1], we’ve written about the emerging competitors from China, firms that are beginning to…

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Your 2012 Plans: Preparing for the Uncertainty of the New Year

What is the outlook for next year’s economic growth? It’s the $64,000 question. In the United…

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We Aren’t The Champions: Achieving Success As A Second Mouse

When, if ever, will the Chinese competitors graduate from being ‘fast followers’ to become true innovators?…

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Turn Your Customer Into A Partner

Most companies invest a significant level of resources in activities designed to identify business partners and…

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They Only Had One Pig

During a recent discussion, a customer of one of my clients described an episode of the…

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They Aren’t Who We Thought They Were

It is as close to a sure thing as exists in business to assume that the…

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The Standard is the Standard

Getting the standards right is only a part of the equation that defines sustained success and…

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The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese

Driving into Tampa recently, we saw a sign that read “The early bird gets the worm,…

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Stand By Me

Recently, I participated in a conference attended primarily by technology integrators, firms that provided high-end solutions…

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Solutions To Growth Challenges

In recent years, “solutions” has become among the most popular one-word strategy summaries. Many firms, finding little…

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Ready, Fire, Aim!

George F. Brown, Jr. identifies four themes for business growth in 2012, and offers his unique…

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My Customer’s Competitor Is My…

An Arabian proverb says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” While the logic is…

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Known Unknowns And Unknown Unknowns

A client in the medical equipment industry recently shared the following experience with me: “You might…

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It’s My Own Damn Fault

Taking steps to avoid unnecessary instances in which your direct customer is a price buyer is…

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It’s a Pricing Problem, Not a Price Problem

In an interview with an executive in a large national industrial distribution firm recently, I asked…

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Get Your Price

Blue Canyon Partners’ George F. Brown Jr. on how to invest in your pricing strategy. When…

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CoDestiny Relationships With Government

America’s governmental institutions face many more changes in the years to come. A major part of…

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CoDestiny Relationships With Channel Partners

CoDestiny[1] relationships come in many flavors. The most frequent ones involve suppliers and their end customers.…

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Building Strong Foundations for Customer Relationships

It takes a significant effort on the part of suppliers and customers alike to ensure that…

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Adjacent Markets

Discovering Your Next Growth Opportunity: Adjacent Markets

Adjacent markets are often the best answer when a business is faced with the question of…

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B2B Relationships

Best-in-Class Behaviors in Business-to-Business Relationships

Competency in managing strategic account relationships yields customers who are satisfied and see value, and, in…

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Growth Success Stories

Supplier-Customer Success Stories: How the Best Firms Collaborate to Drive Growth

This paper builds upon insights drawn from thousands of supplier-customer success stories to identify the most…

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Create Value through Acquisitions

Creating – Rather than Destroying – Value through Acquisitions

Acquisitions can make important contributions to a company’s growth strategy. The strategic due diligence process described…

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Global Market Growth

The Mandate of Global Presence

In 2010, as the global economy began its rebound from the Great Recession, Blue Canyon Partners…

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Customer Chains

‘Supplier Driven’ and ‘Channel Driven’ Business Models

For many business-to-business suppliers, their customer chains involve channel organizations and one or more stages of…

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China Market

The Unwritten Rules of China

While identifying the potential of the China market is not difficult, realizing this potential is complicated…

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China Market

China Economics: Unraveling the Mystery of China’s Low Cost

This paper offers insights into the economics of manufacturing in China. While the game is rigged…

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Business Economics

Business-to-Business Economics

Business-to-business suppliers face a complex market and economic environment. Their direct customers and end customers bring…

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You Know it Ain’t Easy

George F. Brown, Jr. shares his research on the challenges executives experience in implementing business model…

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Troubled Waters

In today’s business environment, where every firm has to focus intensely on the ways in which…

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Sitting on the Bulls-Eye

One of my all-time favorite Far Side™ cartoons showed a deer with a target on its…

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Preparing for Future Competition

It is as close to a sure thing as exists in business to assume that the…

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The BRIC Effect

One of our business-to-business clients recently stated during a strategy session that, “We really no longer…

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Taking Action to Sustain Customer Relationships

Most companies invest a significant level of resources in activities designed to identify business partners and…

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Who Would Ever Share Customers?

Many organizations live in fear of the notion of sharing end customers. After all, a manufacturer…

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Listening To The Voice Of The Customer

In the book CoDestiny, it is argued that the most successful business strategies are ones that…

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How to Align Your Workforce to Successfully Execute Your Strategy

This guest post is by Atlee Valentine Pope, co-author of “CoDestiny: Overcome Your Growth Challenges by…

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How Real Are Those Price Pressures

Decisions on pricing are among the toughest ones facing business executives. Customers and competitors alike put…

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Focus on Fit in Growth Plans

In 1967, many of us heard the same advice given Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate: “Plastics.”…

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50 Ways to Win in China

In 1975, Paul Simon released the song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, which, despite the…

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Are You Ready to Take on China’s Next-Generation Competitors?

Over the past decade, many western firms have identified and targeted China’s exciting, fast-growing markets. Most…

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Driving M&A Success In 2011

The increased pace of merger and acquisition activity late in 2010, including some huge deals, suggests…

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Growth Opportunities

Finding New Pathways to Profitable Growth

Identification of the most promising new markets, customer segments, and product and service offerings is critical…

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Creating Your 2012 Business Plan

As the last quarter of 2011 dawns, your 2012 business plan should involve initiatives that address…

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Bringing Outsiders In

One of the most important lessons in business is that when you create value for your…

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Come Together: Creating M&A Success Stories

The increased pace of merger and acquisition activity late in 2010 and early in 2011, including…

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Change Before You Have To

Here is the question that we think belongs on the top of your firm’s strategic agenda.…

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Opinion: Can This Marriage Be Saved?

It takes a significant effort on the part of suppliers and customers alike to ensure that…

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Building a Customer Facing Culture

Even from among firms that are best defined by the products of their R&D departments and…

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Creative Resolutions: Is Your 2011 Aerospace and Defense Innovation Plan Really Innovative?

In a recent meeting with an executive responsible for her company’s product development activities, she made…

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Be A Good Customer – Let Your Suppliers Help You Grow

Most firms have learned that their customers can be a valuable source of insight, providing ideas…

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Courting China – Very Carefully

Just over a decade ago, businesses became aware of the magnitude of challenges related to doing…

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Avoiding Distress in Key Business Relationships

It takes a significant effort on the part of supplier companies as well as their customers…

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Webinars

Pricing Trends and Tools How Companies Set Prices to Optimize Business Outcomes (MAPI, June 2014) Got…

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Growth

Five Growth Lessons

This paper describes five growth lessons that business organizations and their leadership teams can use to…

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