Published on January 15, 2015 by Guest Blogger
Many a debate within research teams is triggered by this question: Are we delivering a product or a service? Those who enjoy producing written material like to primarily call it a product; others who prefer to meet portfolio managers choose to call it a service.
Since it is a potentially endless debate, I am going to cut it short by modifying the terminology. You can call something a product when you have good answers to the following:
– Which customer segments are you targeting?
– What pain points are you addressing by customer segment?
– Who are the actual buyers?
– What is the differentiation vis-à-vis competition?
– What are the specifications of your product?
– How are you going to price it?
– How are you going to market it?
– What is the elevator pitch?
At first glance, that may not seem like a fair resolution to the debate. After all, I am defining something as a product not based on what it contains, but rather on whether you really understand what you are offering to the market and why. In effect, I am re-crafting the universe as good products versus bad products, as against products versus services. This may sound like quibbling with semantics, but in reality, it serves the very useful purpose of making the debate more meaningful inside the brokerage firm.
Whether Research is a PDF document circulated via a distribution list, or face-time with a key client, or the entire package, it is never a bad time to refine the value proposition. Whenever these questions are asked, the answers never fail to surprise.
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