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Is Lack Of Innovation Bringing A Growth Gap in Your Distribution Business?

Aiswarya Madhu
September 30, 2022 |

We’re living in an age of unprecedented change, and companies that fail to adapt will find themselves left behind.

The pace of innovation is accelerating, and you can’t afford to be left behind. It’s time for your company to reimagine itself and deliver value in a completely different way!

Innovation is a buzzword that carries a lot of weight in the business world, but it’s easy to get confused about what exactly it means. Oftentimes, innovation is used as a catch-all term for everything from new products to new services, but it’s rarely defined in terms of its true meaning: the creation of something unique and valuable.

What will your company do differently this year?

Great companies don’t just think about their products; they think about the entire experience—the customer journey from beginning to end. They understand the challenges they face, and they use this information to create a new reality in which they become a market leader.

The growth gap is a major challenge facing many companies today. The problem is that while the market is growing rapidly, companies are not keeping up with it. The reason is that they’re focused on the wrong things, or they’re doing things in the same way as everyone else.

And there’s no better example of this than how distribution companies have been operating in the past few years. In fact, most distribution companies are still operating on the same outdated model that they used when they started out 20 years ago—which means they’re missing out on huge opportunities to grow their businesses and become more successful than ever before!

A paradigm shift is happening in the distribution world. While most companies focus on how they can improve the way they do things, great companies are fundamentally re-imagining their business. 

Here are some top innovative & creative approaches successful companies have adapted inorder to bring growth, overcome challenges and compete in the ever changing distribution landscape. 

Growth strategies for B2B businesses

An Innovative Shift From Market Sharing to Market Making   

The primary reason for a growth gap is that your business is not investing in innovation, which is required to evolve and grow. Innovation in distribution is about creating new markets for existing products and services. The key to innovation is being able to see beyond the obvious. 

The key to unlocking the solution is to re-imagine how you can offer value to customers by offering a new product or service that is different from what they are currently buying. This will require out of the box thinking and an innovative approach when it comes to your distribution business.

In the past, the business model for many distribution companies was market-sharing. In other words, they would sell their products to multiple retailers at a single location and split the commission with them. This model has become less attractive for several reasons, including:

a) The cost of maintaining customer relationships with multiple retailers is high; it’s also harder to manage multiple accounts.

b) Customers expect more from their distributors in terms of service and quality than ever before (e.g., same day delivery). 

b) Retailers have greater bargaining power as they are better able to negotiate terms with their suppliers. 

In response, some distributors have turned away from this model and toward market making — selling products directly to consumers through online channels and B2B marketplaces. This approach allows companies to maximize sales while also retaining customer loyalty by being available 24/7 via business phone or email, rather than having to wait until business hours are over before being able to contact a distributor’s office for assistance or product delivery issues (i.e., lost packages).

Read More: The New B2B Growth Equation: How To Maximize Your Customer Lifetime Value

Reimagine Value Change to Bring Strategic Control

It’s important not only to reimagine what value your distribution business can offer customers but also how it can be delivered through a new set of channels that are more efficient than current ones. To do this, you need to change the way you think about value creation and delivery, as well as where you bring this value into play for your customers. This shift requires meaningful innovation that helps you create new products or services that meet customer needs in an efficient manner; otherwise, you won’t be able to compete with other distributors who offer similar products or services at lower costs.

So reimagining the value you are providing and helping your customers make their journey hassle free is not so linear in a market that contains non-linear customers. Buyer enablement in such a situation turns out to be a difficult task. In a recent survey by Gartner, it was found out that 77% of B2B buyers state that their purchase was very complex or difficult.  

Bring A Sense of Humanity In Overall Strategies

Creating an innovative product or service isn’t just about coming up with something new — You also need to bring a sense of humanity in your strategy because without it, you’ll just be automating and optimizing from an analytical perspective without any emotional connection to the product or brand.

It’s not enough to just create a product that solves a problem. You need to be able to show how your solution will make someone’s life better. This is especially true in the case of distribution businesses, where you can use your products and services to improve the lives of all those involved with your business — from customers, employees and suppliers to partners in the supply chain. 

A good way to get started on innovation is by bringing a sense of humanity into your overall strategy. This means taking steps so that you offer more value than your competitors and create a different experience for customers.

The idea is simple: if you want your products to stand out from the crowd, you have to make them more than just a commodity. You need to bring a sense of humanity into your overall strategies and processes.

For example, how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors when you’re building a new product? The answer is simple — by looking at what’s going on around you and adopting a strategy that makes sense for your industry and for your target customers. If you’re making a new kind of smartphone, for example, look at other smartphone makers and see how they’re different from each other — what features do they offer? What types of applications do they support? How are they different from each other? And so on…

If you can answer all these questions before starting work on your own product, then you’ll know exactly what features and features sets will set it apart from its competitors in the market space where it will be sold.

Foster A Culture that Motivates Employees to Learn From experiments & Failure

Innovation is not just about coming up with new ideas; it’s also about continuously improving existing ones so that they become better than ever before. Innovation requires people who are willing to fail, learn from their mistakes and try again. The key is to create a culture where failure isn’t seen as a personal failure — but rather something that can be used as a learning tool. This means creating an environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks, being open-minded and asking questions when they don’t understand something. If you want your employees to embrace change then it’s important that they feel comfortable taking risks in their work too!

Read More: B2B Talent Acquisition & Retention: Top Challenges & Trends You Must Know

DCKAP Summit 2022 for Distriutors

Create Value Outside of Your Product

One of the most important elements of innovation is creating value outside of your product or service, and it’s not just about making things better or more convenient. It’s about providing something that people didn’t even know they wanted, but now they’re willing to pay for.

The distribution channel is not just about selling products or services; it’s about building relationships with your customers and helping them grow their businesses as well. If you want to create value outside of your product, then think about how you can help your customers grow their businesses by giving them access to new markets, new suppliers or new ways to sell their products or services.

Recommended Reading: How Distributors can get a leg up against 2023’s challenges: DCKAP Summit 2022

Be Ready to Evolve & Thrive  

If you are a distributor, the ability to innovate is one of the most important aspects of your business. The ability to think outside the box and create new solutions for customers is essential for your success. 

Innovation is a blind process. It’s not about coming up with the best idea, it’s about finding the right idea at the right time and making sure it works for you. In order to do this, you need to have a clear understanding of your customers and their needs, which means understanding them on a personal level, fulfilling their demands and preparing yourself to meet their future demands before they ask. 

At DCKAP, we know that your scale up journey won’t be complete without the right technology support. In most cases, the technology gap leads to a growth gap.  Join us for DCKAP Summit 2022 to find practical solutions to fill your growth gap. 

Aiswarya Madhu

Aiswarya Madhu is a highly skilled and experienced content creator with over 2 years of expertise in developing engaging and informative content for eCommerce enthusiasts and distributors. She has a deep understanding of the dynamic world of eCommerce, with a focus on eCommerce integration and ongoing distribution trends. Aiswarya is committed to delivering high-quality, insightful, and engaging content to her readers beyond the DCKAP blog -- channeling her strengths in social media, Medium, Quora, video and more

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