The simple difference between product bundling and solutions is in the intent.
The intent of product bundling is to sell higher volumes of all products in the bundle by offering a discounted price.
The intent of a solution is to help customers accomplish something that has quantifiable strategic value to their business.
The Definition of a Product Bundle
The classic product bundle example of phone, internet and cable is essentially a pricing strategy to get you to buy all three services for less than you’d pay for them individually. The same goes for combo meals at fast food restaurants.
There’s no measurable value to the buyer in either case beyond a price discount. And much of the time, people buy products in the bundle even if they don’t need them (super-size fries), just because of the price.
The Definition of a Solution
A solution has nothing to do with price and everything to do with customer outcomes and value. Furthermore, a solution doesn’t have to be multiple products or services. It can be a single product or service.
A solution in the simplest terms eliminates key obstacles that keep customers from achieving a highly valuable outcome. Done right, a solution should drive higher sales volume and also command a higher price.
Take retail for example. Nordstrom has always been known for outstanding customer service. Shopping in their stores is a great experience by most measures.
With more people flocking to online shopping, how does Nordstrom create that same feel-good experience for online shoppers as it does in-store shoppers? Any products or services that drive that outcome are highly valuable to Nordstrom, and every other retailer that’s trying to create a memorable online shopping experience.
It’s a common mistake in the product marketing and product management professions to confuse bundling and solutions. A solution in B2B is often created from a “bundle of products” that work seamlessly together. What’s missing is the value story that goes beyond “seamless integration.”
With a solution, the whole should have more quantifiable value than the sum of the products, and therefore command a higher price than each of them do individually. Again, it’s a different starting point.
How to Define a Solution
To define a solution, identify a business outcome that’s highly valuable to your target customers. Then, identify the obstacles that prevent them from achieving that outcome. Determine the products and or services that eliminate the obstacles and that’s your solution. Price it relative to the value customers receive.
If you want to raise your game on creating, marketing and selling higher-value solutions at higher prices, contact Proficientz about a hands-on workshop for managing, marketing and selling a portfolio of solutions. You’ll learn how to eliminate silos and competing product priorities and accelerate your growth.