Differentiate or Die?
Commoditization is a killer in the Age of the Customer.
Even consumer and retail manufacturing is trending toward ‘differentiation as a differentiator’; but for capital equipment and the related engineered solutions, it is now deadly to be “product driven”. In the past, as long as you were the best at engineering, design, and commercialization of your core expertise and product technologies you could dominate markets and win customers. You could hold off new entrants who ‘knocked off’ your products and components as long as pricing was within a reasonable range of the new entrants. That is no longer enough.