At BioBM, we often advocate that companies find ways to create what we call “product-unrelated value” (we first discussed it publicly in a blog post last month). Note that when we say product-unrelated, we don’t mean “has nothing to do with your product” but rather “is not intrinsically linked to your product”. Product-unrelated value should still be something that is relevant to your products, services, or market, but the delivery of value to the customer, as well as the realization of value by the customer, should be completely independent of purchase or use of your products. Product-unrelated value can build trust and strengthen your brand without requiring the user to have participated in the purchasing cycle. Still, many companies scoff at the notion of spending resources to develop value that isn’t intrinsically linked to a product.
It’s good to know that some of the top thinkers agree with our philosophy, though.
Bill Lee, the president of the Customer Reference Forum, Executive Director of the Summit on Customer Engagement, and frequent contributor to the HBR blog network, recently wrote: “It’s always a good idea to look for new ways to create value for customers. But focusing only on doing so through your product or service is entirely one-dimensional. The hard reality is that your product or service, however great it is — however much it helps your customers get a job done or provide an enjoyable experience — is likely just not that important to their lives in the grand scheme of things.”
Companies exist because they are able to provide value to their customers. Companies that cannot do so cease to exist. Life science tools companies, and indeed companies across all industries and sectors, need to realize that they need to focus on creating value for customers in more ways than just through their products. Those that argue that product-unrelated value doesn’t help their bottom line are being shortsighted. Product-unrelated value builds the critical trust and brand value that allows a company and a brand to succeed in the long-term. This is especially true with a highly skeptical audience such as scientists.