#Innovation: speaking the SME language

Picture: Kris Atomic @Unsplash

The term Innovation often comes with the idea of earth shattering, moon shot innovation that changes whole industries. Some Startups are clearly starting to disrupt traditional industries, however you are missing out if you are only looking for the big throw innovation when considering your SME suppliers' potential to innovate.

If you are in a B2B business yourself and working for a broad customer base, from SMEs to large corporates, you need to create products that speak to the customer segments needs. Size is one possible segmentation, locality may be another.

Understanding smaller and more local business intimately as a large company can be a challenge. So if you are engaging equally large suppliers to design your services, products and customer experience you may be missing out on key insights and innovation that drives the coveted "Customer Experience". Customer experience being king in creating a strong sustainable brand where competition is fierce and feedback online vocal. And finding the right tone of voice to reach customers in say rural Germany when your supplier is a agency behemoth located in a swanky London office.

Also, SMEs recognize that this is a weakness of large providers and step into the niche by providing services and products that cater better and more cheaply to the small company's needs. More and more hits appear when googling terms combining "startup" or "SME" and a product or service. So your small suppliers may not just sit back missing out on doing business with you, they are probably going to steal some of your bacon!

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