Written by Christophe Fajs, Goedele Pyck and Anne Boyle

We’ve noticed many companies over the years are transitioning from product to solution offerings. Instead of selling cars, electricity and mobile phones, companies are now specialising in personal mobility, creating comfortable homes and connecting friends and families. These solution offerings put customers first, and as a result, are creating exceptional customer experiences. 

Whether your company is thinking about adopting solutions or curious to learn about the differences between products and solutions, we’re sharing our experience and knowledge to help you embark on a path to success

But first, it may be helpful to define what defines a solution company.

Companies that embrace solution offerings

Solution companies have four essential characteristics:

  1. Successful long-term relationships 
    Solution companies have their sights set on the future. Instead of a one-off contract with one product exchange, these companies look for opportunities to build long-term trust with their customers.
  1. Integration of goods, services and knowledge 
    Product companies offer their products separately, which means it's up to the customer to figure out which product is right for them. Solution companies already integrate their products and knowledge into one hyper-relevant solution tailored to their customers' wishes.
  1. Tailor-made solution offering(s)
    Product companies begin with building an excellent product and then searching for customers that need that product. Solution companies start with researching the needs of their target audience and then creating a solution for them.
  1. Prioritise co-creation
    The companies that offer the best solutions tend to involve their customers in the creation process. Including customer insight in the early stages brings even more value to the final solution.
This graph shows the difference between a product vs solution company.
The differences between a product vs solution company.

In the end, solution offerings are a bit of a spectrum… 

Most companies are not entirely product or solution-based but fall somewhere in-between. 

There's a wide range of possibilities between a pure product or solution-based approach. Some companies occasionally sell their products and services together while others choose to bundle their products and services and market them as one solution. Others create a solution offering tailored to a specific client industry's needs, while a few companies co-create an independent solution to meet different customer needs. Every company has the option to select and develop an offering that works best for them. 

This graph shows how companies evolve from a product to solution offering.
This spectrum shows how companies evolve from a product to true solution offering.

The advantages of a solution offering

What can your company gain by adopting a solution offering? We believe there are six significant benefits companies earn in the short and long term. 

  • Switching barriers 
    Creating a solution offering tailored to customer needs decreases the likelihood that they'll switch to another company.
  • Stronger customer relationships
    Companies that co-create with their customers show they want to know their customers inside and out — which goes a long way to building relationships and brand loyalty.
  • Business opportunities with existing clients
    Cross-selling and upselling become much easier when a company can offer not one product, but several products and services in one solution.
  • Stand out from the competition 
    Co-creating a tailor-made solutions for customers sets a company apart from its competitors.
  • Attract new customers
    Solution marketing can attract a whole new type of customer that's looking for not one product but a total solution.
  • Future-proof company
    Integrating different products and services into a single solution makes it easier for clients to buy a company’s current and future products and secure future business opportunities.

Gain a competitive lead with Springbok
Whether your company is looking to learn more about solution offerings or make a gradual transition from products to solutions, our experts are here to help. From building a pilot project to refining a value proposition to offering strategic advice — let us know how we can support you.

Interested in switching to a solution based offering? let's talk.