Competitiveness and Innovation

It’s all about the benefits

3 May 2007  

The late Theodore Levitt, professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, was a champion of customer benefits as the benchmark for value in marketing. As he memorably put it, customers don’t really want a drill—they want a hole.

That single insight fundamentally changes the way you develop and position products.

The same could be said of intelligence. Intelligence users don’t really want more information to read (or listen to) and discuss. They want to be more competitive—to have more sales, higher margins, a higher stock price, and so on. Competitiveness is the end, intelligence is but a means to that end. Intelligence derived without concern for the value proposition that it is serving will almost necessary not be value-focused, and as a result will not achieve the returns it potentially could achieve.

Excerpt from the Introduction to The Knowledge Value Chain Workbook by T.W. Powell.

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