Understanding Buyer Utility Map: A Tool for Creating Customer Value
Understanding Buyer Utility Map: A Tool for Creating Customer Value

Understanding Buyer Utility Map: A Tool for Creating Customer Value

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, creating value for customers has become more important than ever before. To succeed, businesses must understand their customers’ needs and provide products and services that meet those needs in new and innovative ways. One tool that can help businesses do just that is the Buyer Utility Map.

The Buyer Utility Map is a framework developed by W. Chan Kim and RenĂ©e Mauborgne, the authors of the best-selling book “Blue Ocean Strategy”. The map is designed to help businesses identify unmet customer needs and create value by developing innovative products and services that meet those needs.

At its core, the Buyer Utility Map is a customer-focused tool that encourages businesses to look beyond their own products and services and focus on what their customers really need. The map helps businesses identify the factors that make a product or service valuable to customers and then use those factors to create new value propositions that meet those needs.

The Buyer Utility Map consists of six key stages that represent the six stages of the buyer experience:

  1. Purchase
  2. Delivery
  3. Use
  4. Supplements
  5. Maintenance
  6. Disposal

Each of these stages represents an opportunity for businesses to create value for their customers. By understanding the customer’s needs and expectations at each stage, businesses can develop innovative products and services that create new value for their customers.

For example, let’s consider the use stage. At this stage, the customer is actually using the product or service. By understanding the customer’s needs and expectations at this stage, businesses can develop new features or functionality that make the product or service more valuable to the customer.

Perhaps the product could be redesigned to be more user-friendly, or new features could be added that make the product more useful or efficient. By focusing on the customer’s needs at each stage of the buyer experience, businesses can create products and services that deliver more value and better meet the needs of their customers.

The Buyer Utility Map is a powerful tool for businesses looking to create new value propositions and differentiate themselves from their competitors. By identifying unmet customer needs and developing innovative products and services that meet those needs, businesses can create a “blue ocean” of uncontested market space where they can thrive and grow.

In conclusion, the Buyer Utility Map is a valuable tool for businesses looking to create customer value and differentiate themselves from their competitors. By focusing on the customer’s needs at each stage of the buyer experience, businesses can develop innovative products and services that deliver more value and better meet the needs of their customers. If you’re looking to create a blue ocean of uncontested market space, the Buyer Utility Map is a great place to start.

The key stages of the Buyer utility map

The Buyer Utility Map is a framework that helps businesses identify unmet customer needs and create value by developing innovative products and services that meet those needs. The map consists of six key stages that represent the six stages of the buyer experience:

  1. Purchase: This stage involves the process of acquiring the product or service. Businesses can create value at this stage by making the purchase process easy and convenient for the customer, providing multiple payment options, and offering a fair price.
  2. Delivery: This stage involves the process of getting the product or service to the customer. Businesses can create value at this stage by providing fast and reliable delivery, offering different delivery options, and providing tracking information to the customer.
  3. Use: This stage involves the actual use of the product or service by the customer. Businesses can create value at this stage by making the product or service easy to use, providing clear instructions, and offering support or training if needed.
  4. Supplements: This stage involves any additional products or services that complement the main product or service. Businesses can create value at this stage by offering relevant and useful supplements, such as accessories, warranties, or maintenance services.
  5. Maintenance: This stage involves the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the product or service. Businesses can create value at this stage by providing reliable and timely maintenance and repair services, offering easy-to-use tools for troubleshooting and self-service, and providing clear information about warranties and guarantees.
  6. Disposal: This stage involves the process of disposing of the product or service once it is no longer needed. Businesses can create value at this stage by offering environmentally-friendly disposal options, providing guidance on how to dispose of the product or service safely, and offering incentives or rewards for recycling or donating used products.

By understanding the customer’s needs and expectations at each of these key stages, businesses can develop innovative products and services that create new value for their customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The Buyer utility map in action – real world examples

The Buyer Utility Map is a powerful tool for businesses to create new value propositions and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Let’s take a look at some real-world examples of how businesses have used the Buyer Utility Map to identify unmet customer needs and create innovative products and services that meet those needs:

  1. Amazon Kindle: The Kindle is a great example of a product that was developed using the Buyer Utility Map. Amazon identified that the purchase and delivery stages of buying a physical book were often inconvenient for customers. The Kindle was developed to solve this problem by providing a simple and convenient way for customers to purchase and read books digitally. The Kindle also provides value in the use stage by allowing customers to easily highlight and take notes, and in the maintenance stage by offering free cloud storage for all Kindle books.
  2. Uber: Uber is another great example of a product that was developed using the Buyer Utility Map. Uber identified that the use stage of traditional taxi services was often frustrating for customers due to long wait times and unpredictable availability. Uber was developed to solve this problem by providing a fast and convenient way for customers to hail a ride using their smartphone. Uber also provides value in the purchase and delivery stages by allowing customers to easily see the cost of the ride before booking and providing real-time updates on the driver’s location.
  3. Nespresso: Nespresso is a great example of a product that provides value in the supplements stage of the Buyer Utility Map. Nespresso identified that customers were looking for a convenient and high-quality way to make coffee at home. Nespresso developed a system of coffee capsules and machines that make it easy for customers to brew a perfect cup of coffee at home. Nespresso also provides value in the maintenance stage by offering easy-to-use cleaning tools and providing customer service support for any issues with the machines.
  4. Apple: Apple is a great example of a company that has used the Buyer Utility Map to create a range of products that provide value at each stage of the buyer experience. Apple products are designed to be easy to purchase and set up, provide a high-quality user experience, offer a range of accessories and complementary services, and provide easy-to-use maintenance and support options.

In conclusion, the Buyer Utility Map is a powerful tool for businesses to identify unmet customer needs and create innovative products and services that meet those needs. These real-world examples demonstrate how businesses have used the Buyer Utility Map to create value for their customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. By focusing on each stage of the buyer experience, businesses can create new value propositions that lead to long-term success and growth.

Pros and cons of using the Buyer utility map

The Buyer Utility Map is a framework that helps businesses identify unmet customer needs and create value by developing innovative products and services that meet those needs. While the map offers many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of using the Buyer Utility Map:

Pros:

  1. Customer focus: The Buyer Utility Map is a customer-focused tool that encourages businesses to look beyond their own products and services and focus on what their customers really need. By focusing on the customer’s needs at each stage of the buyer experience, businesses can develop innovative products and services that deliver more value and better meet the needs of their customers.
  2. Innovation: The Buyer Utility Map encourages businesses to think creatively and develop new value propositions that meet unmet customer needs. By identifying unmet customer needs and developing innovative products and services that meet those needs, businesses can create a “blue ocean” of uncontested market space where they can thrive and grow.
  3. Competitive advantage: By developing products and services that meet unmet customer needs, businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain a competitive advantage. The Buyer Utility Map helps businesses identify areas where they can stand out and create unique value propositions that their competitors cannot replicate.

Cons:

  1. Complexity: The Buyer Utility Map can be a complex tool to use, especially for smaller businesses with limited resources. Developing a deep understanding of the customer’s needs at each stage of the buyer experience can require significant time and effort.
  2. Limited scope: The Buyer Utility Map focuses primarily on the buyer experience and may not address other important factors that can impact a business’s success, such as market trends or regulatory requirements.
  3. Customer biases: The Buyer Utility Map relies on accurate customer feedback to identify unmet needs, and customers may not always be aware of their own needs or biases. Businesses must be careful to interpret customer feedback in the right way and use it to inform their decisions without being overly influenced by individual biases.