While I was doing a bit of DIY over the weekend I spotted a great new service innovation from B&Q. Conveniently, you can now hire a van straight from B&Q’s car park to lug all of your over-sized purchases home or to site.
What’s the customer need?
To excel at customer satisfaction, brands have to support their customers once they’ve made their purchase and leave the shop. B&Q appear to have picked up on a great customer irritation… struggling to get all their purchases into their cars and safely home. This kind of annoyance is the perfect basis for a good innovation idea.
Why it’s a logical brand stretch?
B&Q hire tools and machinery, so it’s not a massive leap for them to start hiring vans. It’s also not totally at odds with the D.I.Y proposition as these are ‘self-drive’ vans to hire.
Yet B&Q have very smartly partnered with Hertz to provide the service rather than provide a fleet of self drive vans for hire…
Why wouldn’t they just solus brand their vans as B&Q?
1. No core competency in transport
B&Q source, manufacture and sell D.I.Y. products and services – not transport. The complexity (time, cost, logistics) of managing a vehicle fleet was perhaps deemed by B&Q to be too much of a distraction from their core business of D.I.Y. Poorly executed, this could be a disaster for B&Q’s reputation if customers were constantly breaking down on the side of the road, for example.
2. Lack of brand credibility in transport
Would customers trust B&Q to provide safe and reliable vans? Do they have expertise and credibility in vehicle hire? Customers perhaps need some reassurance that there is a trusted brand behind the service.
Is there a winning partnership just around the corner for your brand?
Brand tie-ups are a very efficient way to stretch a brand into new areas where the core competency or brand credibility doesn’t currently exist. Yet there tends to be a general avoidance of brand tie-ups to innovate. Usually this is due to a flawed argument around higher margin. Instead a better viewpoint to take is a lower margin attached to high volume is much preferable to high margin with no sales due to lack of credibility!
This got the team thinking, which other brands could benefit from a partnership to stretch their brands into new areas? What about Vanish using its stain removal credentials in conjunction with a toothpaste brand to deliver superior whitening? Or Alpro partnering with Kenco and borrowing its coffee credentials to make a ready to drink soya coffee?
Just think where your brand could possibly stretch if you employed the brand tie-up innovation strategy…