As we work with service providers developing new offers, we see a very common issue. A provider develops an innovative offering for one of its customers. Often that customer will have led the provider into it and then they evolve it over time. An executive shows up from the provider company and says, “Wow, that’s really powerful and an incredible story. Let’s package that and sell it to the rest of the market.” Almost like a basketball slam-dunk maneuver, they believe the new offering will be a crowd-pleaser, a “sure thing.” That’s a mistake.
We see providers spending a substantial amount of money, time and effort into building offerings around these one-off experiences. Here’s the problem: Just because an offering delights one client doesn’t mean it will delight the rest of the market. It’s not a slam dunk. Typically these one-off experiences are with large clients with unique requirements. The larger and more sophisticated the client, the less likely the offering can be transported to other clients.
The industry has had poor success in scaling offers built around just one client; they seldom scale quickly or profitably. It’s great to get an idea from a client. But the provider needs to then do industry-wide market research to understand what really resonates. Where Everest Group has conducted this research for our clients, it always surprises both us and the clients how different an offer is when built for the industry compared to one built for a specific client.
To recap: Providers shouldn’t build an offering around just one client’s experience and shouldn’t risk cutting out the step of doing industry-wide research before building an industry-wide offering.