Are Services Products?

What is a ‘Product’?


Grant Hunter

Our Topic of the Week panel took on the broad question “What is a ‘product’?” in this weeks conversation. This clip is from our conversation on tour second open-ended question from the conversation “When are services products? Or, how do you productize a service?”

I start off this part of the conversation going back to the answer from the Monday question, pointing out that whatever the form factor if it is a solution to a problem it is a product. As we looking deeper into this, Jason Vincelette brings the repeatability into the conversation and opens the question to custom versus productized.

Jon Harmer brought us back to the original definition and services would have to be a product, even if it may not be scalable. Steve Johnson reinforces the repeatability and standardized being the difference between a product and custom consulting, with a standard delivery system making it more of a product.

I counter Steve and state that you can still customize custom services with a standard process for delivery and standard value proposition you are selling against. Rob Goldberg agrees, stating that is “having something to hang it on” sharing his experience as a consultant doing that.
The key to productization is the making it easier to sell and communicate the value proposition. Steve brings up ASPIRE and the importance of having a system to make it work, leading into a conversation of is a Deck a product, and the realization that for different personas different things are products.

Jon Harmer, wraps the conversation up with the offer that we either really need to redefine our definition of what is a product, to include scalability/repeatable and the importance of methodology, or realize that those things only make the product better (or more profitable).

As I rewatch this, and this is something I have thought a lot about, I am of the mind that services are a product if you clearly define the who, what and why, what the outcome is for the buyer, and deliver on that.

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