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TMC Vocabulary


Compiled by Chris Halliwell, TMC Director

Value Drivers

Value Drivers, and their metrics, are defined by what is important to customers, thus they correspond to and support the customer's own driving business metrics. For customer satisfaction purposes suppliers prioritize Value Drivers and then rate their performance to metrics versus competitive alternatives. For more strategic product planning effect, driving metrics can be applied to core technology, or Generic Product, elements; to customer satisfaction, or Expected Product, elements; and, most importantly, to customer-partnering, or Augmented Product, elements providing the basis for the supplier's Vector of Differentiation.

Vector of Differentiation

Unlike tactical continuous development of Augmented Product elements, defining a Vector of Differentiation commits the firm to deliver a specific benefit to customers, and to continuously differentiate along this benefit vector or value proposition over time. The vector is chosen from among the customer's Value Drivers, and once determined, the vector focuses Augmented Product priorities and improvements. The most effective vector is one that offers a means of solution Differentiation across several target markets within phases of the Adoption Curve, for some extended, but finite, period of time.

Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Voice of the Customer is a structured market research technique implemented by product and market development teams. VOC methods involve a series of in-depth interviews with distinct segments of customers, focused on their experiences with current products or alternatives. This technique utilizes open-ended questioning to produce a description of needs and Value Drivers based on the customer's response to environmental trends. Formal documentation of customer conversations allows the business team to synthesize commonalities and differences in segments and to derive a Vector of Differentiation.