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What you sell is only a (small) part of what the customer buys

NIRAJ DAWARN
30 Lawrence Centre, Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario 1151 Richmond St, London, Ontario N6G 3G9, Canada

Where does value reside in chemistry?One way to answer this question is to ask why customers buychemicals. And the answer, naturally, is thought to be in theproducts you make and sell. The better the product, the morelikely the customer will buy it, and the more value they will getfrom it, the higher the price they will pay for it, and the morelikely they will come back for more, and the greater thecustomer loyalty you will gain. Or so goes the conventionalwisdom.
Better products, after all, are the foundation on which so manygreat companies have been built. Bayer is the aspirincompany, DuPont defined the age of Nylon, and Genentechowes its success to Rituxan and Herceptin. So whether in anattempt to be the next Bayer or Genentech, or simply tocompete with them, companies invest considerable resourcesand effort building better products, R&D and innovation areplaced at the centre of activities, and product qualitybecomes a widely recited organizational mantra.So much so that chemicals firms today are constructed andorganized around their product divisions and productdepartments, they appoint product managers who haveproduct sales targets, and manage product-related budgets ...



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