Bundling: it’s solutions to problems

Flexibility is great for customers. It lets them choose and pick exactly what they need out of a set of offerings. But then there are some times when customers don’t know what all they need to solve a problem. And there are some other times when they have heard of some really cool products but are unable to figure out how they can be applicable to their business. These are the two cases, discoverability and applicability, where bundling comes into picture.

The idea is to target the niche by putting products together and adding bells-and-whistles to them, essentially creating a bundle for the target customers. Some really great examples of product bundling comes from the Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office has suites to meet the needs of any type of customer ever wanting to do anything with word processing or keeping inventory or preparing a presentation. These suites make it easier for customers to identify what all they need and how a product can be applicable to their needs. For example, with the help of bundling, a school can easily figure out which products out of the Microsoft Office family will be useful for it and how. Similarly, a small business owner can just pick up the bundle created specifically for small businesses and meet all her needs.

Some other great examples of bundling comes from Google. Google bundles their products in distinct areas to further simplify their offering to the niche customers. It could not be any simpler for a non-profit organization to discover and apply a dozen products including an online video community, a mapping software and a money collection service to their advantage without wandering around to get each one of them and figure their use. Similar offerings make lives of educators and businesses a lot easier as compared to otherwise.

Bundling is in some ways opposite to how we normally work. In normal scenarios, we look at a problem and work on it to figure out a solution. In case of bundling, we look at all the various solutions we have for different problems, identify who all are haunted by these problems and mix-and-match these individual solutions to develop a package for a type of customers. Just another time when we start from solutions and look for problems!

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