Does your software cure a disease or alleviate a symptom?

Does your software cure a disease or alleviate a symptom?

Some products cure diseases. If you want to kill the flu, you go to a doctor and get medicine. Other products alleviate symptoms. If you want to sleep through the night, you go get a bottle of NyQuil.

But when you wake up, you still have the flu.

The thing is, selling either product is a pretty good way to generate revenue. Companies have made billions selling pharmaceuticals. Other companies have made billions selling over-the-counter remedies.

Yet each product has a different purpose, a different audience, and a different impact (not to mention a different price, and profit margin).

In business, companies often lack a shared understanding of what they are and what they do.  For example we once helped a market research re-position their brand. When asked what they do, one partner said, “We help our clients solve their marketing problems” (i.e. cure the disease) while another partner said “We give our clients insights through great quantitative research” (i.e. alleviate a symptom).   Both great ways to make a living, but not the same thing. Do you cure diseases or alleviate symptoms?   Know the difference.

For instance, do you,

  • “Solve your customers’ growth problems” or “make the sales team more efficient”?
  • “Transform the online experience” or “develop a software platform that delivers dynamic creative assets”?
  • “Improve customer loyalty” or “improve first call resolution rates”…which makes your customer service team more efficient and helps your customers get the answers they need which then may lead to improvements in customer loyalty?