Leading the way: why service companies have co-opted product leadership as a key value

Companies can no longer sustain success simply by offering a good service. Innovation has become a cultural leitmotiv in some successful service companies, whose leaders are encouraging top-to-bottom ingenuity to stay ahead of competitors. 

Business leaders must lead by example – applying individual perspicacity internally and externally, so that their companies are sufficiently agile and resourced to capitalize on innovation. Those organizations strive to provide a service of outstanding reliability and superior quality, or deliver an experience that will compel customers to return again and again.

Innovation is an underutilized weapon in services industries. Product leading service companies win and protect business by leaving customers feeling:

  • ‘These services have never been offered before’
  • ‘The company anticipates and solves challenges and problems in its market’
  • ‘The service is so good that price is rarely a top consideration’

To sustain long-term success, service companies must aspire to emulate the kind of ‘anticipation’ that product companies generate amongst consumers. That requires more than just innovation in service design – creative client-facing and marketing colleagues are just as critical. Granted, decision-makers in companies needing management consultancy, web design or insurance services are unlikely to be distracted from routine by wondering what their suppliers will come up with next. But providing the capacity, freedom and encouragement to innovate is the hallmark of companies that deliver services of such a consistently high quality that their customers instinctively trust them to anticipate and address their needs.

Innovation amongst service companies revolves around:

  • Developing improved services
  • Introducing new service offerings
  • Creating new business models
  • Adding new solutions alongside core service offerings

Product leaders focus on new and improved services – but what defines a product leader?

About Flanders DC

Flanders District of Creativity is the Flemish organisation for business creativity. It was founded by the Flemish Government as a non-profit organization and enjoys broad support. Flemish businesses, academics, and public institutions use Flanders DC as a platform for cooperation and for building a more creative region. Creativity is the key ingredient in making companies more successful and in helping regional governments fuel a healthy economy with more jobs.

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