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March 23, 2009

Repackaging for greater profits

Many of the fortunes of recent time have been made on the back of repackaging.

Google repackaged advertising and made it available to everyone.

Amazon repackaged the bookstore and made it able to serve anybody anywhere, with all titles on view rather than just those in stock.

SaaS is attempting to repackage the work of ERP and other enterprise systems into web based models that are cheaper, quicker to implement and where infrastructure is a browser. (And the present crisis may provide them with their tipping point) and Amazon CreateSpace are repackaging the self publishing industry.

Not all of these are online. Tesco repackaged the corner shop and now takes in around 1 pound sterling for every 8 pounds sterling spent in Great Britain. Wal-Mart repackaged the supermarket and has had a dramatic effect on the consumer products industries globally.

Every time there was a recognition that the "product" (Books, software, access to publishing) had inherent value - it was just the way it was packaged, sold or provided that needed to change.

And every time those companies who were making money under the present way of doing things didn't think to make the change first.

What do you do? Training? Processes? Strategic advice? Software selection and implementation? Outsourcing? Marketing? sales outsourcing? IT advice? Financial consulting?

I can hear the cries now. No! This is the only way to deliver training/services/implementation etcetera. As always these cries will be more about the status quo and trying to keep tomorrow looking like yesterday did.

But there is a better just haven't worked it out yet. But if there is inherent value in what you are providing, and you don't dedicate at least some of your time trying to - somebody else will...

There are always some standard leverage points for change...

- Change the delivery model
- Package more into it, or unbundle it
- Change where the work is done
- Change the way you charge for it, reducing the cost to each but taking more revenue overall (Insurance models)
- Change the structure of the licensing, or move from concurrent users to site based, or even move from ongoing maintenance fees to some other subscription fee.
- Could your company survive with a donations based model? (Bit risky isn't it?)

(I think that subscriptions are underrated and the way to go)

There are plenty of example out there to copy, and plenty of competitors trying to do the same.

How could you repackage your products or services?