Improving Consumer Experience through an Extended Value Chain

The value chain no longer ends with a sale. Learn how innovative brands extend the value chain to optimize connections with consumers post-sale.

September 12, 2019

What is the Value Chain?

“A value chain is a business model that describes the full range of activities needed to create a product or service,” according to Investopedia. Coined by Michael Porter in 1985, the value chain consists of five generic, primary categories: 

  • Inbound logistics
  • Operations 
  • Outbound logistics
  • Marketing and sales
  • Services

At its core, the concept of the value chain focuses on maximizing value at every step of the product or service creation process.

A value chain analysis, then, looks at each of these components individually to identify optimization opportunities. However, brands too often pay too little attention to — or disregard altogether — a final portion in the chain: connecting directly with consumers after the sale. 

Extending the Value Chain Beyond the Sale

In a time when consumer experience is more valued than ever, brands must incorporate an extended value chain that focuses on connecting with end consumers after the sale. Though in some cases this is covered in a limited way by the Services component of the value chain, successful brands fully embrace this connection to encourage additional sales, track consumer behavior with their products and, ultimately, increase lifetime value.

Marketing expert Scott Galloway emphasizes this importance: “Post-purchase intelligence where we take data from the purchase and use it as a means of whipping the consumer back around into that purchase funnel again.”

Creating value-adds directly to the end product creates a challenge — brands face the high costs of new features, higher quality materials and more. However, innovative brands today find that adding digital experiences directly to their existing products allows consumers to get more value with a very low investment. 

Never Break the Chain: Optimizing the Service Component and Beyond

Better Communication Equals Better Consumer Experience

Consumers today expect brands to meet them where they are at all points in the purchase process. But brands often lose consumer connection after a sale is made — or even earlier when products are distributed to retailers.

However, products themselves can now be channels to communicate with consumers after a purchase. For instance, Blue Bite leverages technologies such as NFC and QR installed directly in products and packaging to ensure that brand’s connection to consumers remains intact long after a sale. 

Adding interactive, digital experiences directly to products is a highly efficient, scalable way to add value for the end consumer. 

See just a few examples of the forms this connection can take below.

  • Authentication: Brands like BVLGARI embed NFC chips in their products. Consumers tapping the chip with their phones activate a digital experience informing them the product is authentic. This reassures consumers regardless of whether the product is purchased directly from the brand, from a retailer or even on the second hand market.
  • Exclusive Content: Exclusive content only available to product owners incentivizes consumer interaction. 
  • Exclusive Deals: Digital experiences can be designed to display complementary and related products, with deals or coupons only available to purchasers.  
  • Product Registration: Brands use perks like these to encourage consumers to provide their information to register the products they’ve purchased

Better Understanding Equals Better Products

Successful brands today learn lessons from end consumers that affect the entire value chain.

“You can’t develop products today without understanding customer sentiment and usage patterns,” writes Harry Blunt, NA Marketing Director for the SAP Extended Supply Chain solution portfolio.

In other words, brands that track how consumers use and interact with their products after the sale receive not only a better understanding of those consumers, but also information they can leverage to improve their products moving forward.

Brands today are able to gather this information like never before. For example, those embedding NFC, QR or other technologies on products and employing Blue Bite’s solution access analytics showing how their products. These tools allow brands to see when consumers interact with products, where the interactions occur and much more.

As the world changes, successful brands find ways to extend the value chain, resulting in a better understanding of consumers and how their products are used — allowing the opportunity for them to provide and gain more value than ever before.

Learn How Blue Bite Extends the Value Chain for Brands