Our consumer lives increasingly foreshadow what will happen next in industry. But, it wasn’t always that way of course. When everything was new, technology had a way of shaping our lives. Yet now, our lives shape technology – and even more so – our lives shape the way we consume it.
Last Saturday, I had a revelation as I strolled among the many booths that make up my local farmer’s market. There was the usual cast of characters: the fruit vendor, the vegetable vendor, the fish monger, the butcher, the baker.
But, if my farmer’s market were a group of stores I had to travel to, it wouldn’t be as attractive. This is essentially why large scale grocery stores made the local produce shop or the local fish monger somewhat of a dinosaur in the first place. However, as a collective — in one location, those smaller vendors represent so much more than a grocery store can and does offer. They offer Specialization.
For example, the depth of knowledge around the products they individually sell creates an experience you don’t get from a grocery chain. There’s an intimacy with some of the vendors that far exceeds the selection. And, it spreads to the operation itself, the fields, and the soil – the impact of the weather on the commodity.
The same thing is happening in the IT channel today. The “jack of all trades- big box” IT store is under scrutiny from today’s savvy shoppers … and the breadth of products being offered creates knowledge gaps in organizations of all sizes simply with the weight of all that CAN be known being funneled into what IS known.
There is an IT “Farmers Market” revolution underway…and we call it Dynamic Value Partnerships. Dynamic Value Partnerships are like ecosystems of products and services. And, partners rely on each other similar to how individual elements of an ecosystem depend on the other, everyone supporting everyone else and contributing to their own little niche of the system.
Imagine on Saturday morning if there was only one booth on Main Street at the farmer’s market. The butcher…and no one else. The butcher would likely be able to sell a few things to discerning shoppers that understand his value and with whom he has built loyalty.
But, imagine the next Saturday if that butcher was able to bring along his baker friend, and then his vegetable farmer friend, and orchard friend.
Not only would that cast a wider net of potential customers, but discerning shoppers already loyal to the butcher have more options of their own BECAUSE of the butcher’s introductions and networking. They no longer need to go to other places to find their goods. The butcher, by partnering with others, increased loyalty to his brand…and strengthened relationships with that customer.
That’s Dynamic Value Partnership at play.
Looking back at our friend the butcher, perhaps the most powerful part of this premise is that the butcher didn’t have to change his sales model or industry knowledge. Neither he nor the fruit vendor increased their cost or their risk, all they did was utilize Dynamic Value Partnerships that help grow their business, and expand their customer base – and more than likely INCREASED their relevance to their customers.
IT resale businesses- — for years- — have lived under the concept that you have to build more or buy more to compete with the “big guys.” Yet, the Farmer’s market business architecture suggests that there is value when you specialize and align yourself with partners that have similar structures in complimentary technologies, architectures and/or services.
Besides, it’s awfully hard to find a place that doesn’t have a busy little farmer’s market on weekend mornings isn’t it…?
To learn more about business and sales from Dan and the Comstor Sales Team, click here.