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Jakarta Post

Rethinking strategy to escape commoditization

Jakarta   /   Sat, January 21 2012   /  02:25 pm

Look at almost any industry and you will see companies struggling to differentiate what they have to offer from everything else in the marketplace. So it’s hardly surprising that one of the most common complaints I hear from senior executives is “My product is becoming commoditized. Is there a way out?”

First some good news: executives who are prepared to rethink their approach can find a way out of the commoditization trap.

But that, of course, does not mean that it will be easy. Let’s start by reviewing two of the most common — and ineffective — reactions to commoditization.

The first is new features, which can be popular with customers but are no guarantee that they will want to pay extra for them.

Either way it won’t be long before the company’s competitors copy the idea themselves, while low-cost versions from Asia will suddenly appear on...