“What new customer business processes can we improve in order to drive our growth?” The challenge of making a great brand relevant to a new market segment.
Our client, the leader in high-fidelity content creation and management for graphics professionals and consumer enthusiasts, was not leveraging the market opportunity presented by medium and large enterprises despite its sponsorship of a now ubiquitous technology standard. Through acquisition, the company now had application solutions that addressed a significant problem faced by many enterprises—how to present the output of numerous business applications into a cohesive, visual expression—and manage this output to serve employee, supplier, and customer facing documents. Our assignment was to develop a positioning and value proposition that would appeal to the enterprise customer while maintaining its relevance and leadership among its historical and profitable customer base.
The move from “what we sell” to “who we are” – and the migration from tools to platforms.
Our analysis showed that the client was appreciated for its products and technology among creative professionals and serious hobbyists, but that the company lacked relevance and saliency among enterprise IT and business customers. These customers were less interested in what the company made but rather who the company was and whether or not it could be part of the an inner circle of “trusted advisors” now so important in today’s marketplace. We recommended that the company shift its outbound strategy and programs now focused on what it made to that of who it was—a $1B+ software company with an excellent reputation with both customers and the financial community. And that it elevate its products and value propositions to that of application platforms rather than the tools-oriented focus it had previously espoused (albeit with considerable success). Based on our considerable experience with enterprise IT customers, we knew that enterprises prized platform companies but regarded tools companies and their products as relatively interchangeable—commodities that did not warrant “trusted advisor” status. By the same token, we also discovered that creative professionals notably already thought of the client’s products as platforms—owing to their interoperability and the ecosystem of third party products and methodologies created over the last two decades.
Three markets. One company.
Today, our client has reinforced its leadership credentials with creative professionals and serious hobbyists with a new suite of products designed to interoperate with one another on both functional and usage occasion levels. As well, the company, previously shunned or “sent down the hall” by IT professionals is increasingly recognized and welcomed by this group, acknowledged as uniquely qualified to solve several vexing problems in an efficient and easy-to-implement fashion. As a result, the company’s market cap has risen from $9.7B (Sept 2003) to over $16B (March 2005).