Desso Competitive Advantage

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Reasons for Stef Kranendijk to undertake the sustainability initiative * Customer’s preference was moving away from the basic demand for high quality and reliable products towards requirements of added values. Among all the possible variations to the product, sustainability was at the time the latest quality to attract customers’ concern. In this aspect DESSO was clearly behind its competitors. * DESSO at the time was a company in desperate need of innovation. Their business model centered on the more traditional product, which was quickly falling out of favor with customers. Meanwhile the company did not apparently had any mechanism to encourage innovation and creativity. Stef was largely inspired by the sustainability movement, in particular the Cradle to Cradle® concept. Most likely he thought such an exciting concept would provide strong source of inspiration for DESSO’s innovations. Assessment of sustainability as a possible competitive advantage for DESSO I think that sustainability can become a competitive advantage for DESSO, for the following reasons: * The Cradle to Cradle® concept can be seen as a strategic innovation in the industry. It created a new proposition for DESSO’s product by dramatically increasing customer value in the sustainability criterion, effectively introducing a new value curve. It also expands the focal market by allowing the improved product to approach a whole new segment of customers, i.e., architects and designers. * Cradle to Cradle® can also pass the VRI test to register as a strategic factor. It is obviously valuable to DESSO thanks to the opportunity it creates for the company to capitalize on customers’ increasing demand for sustainable solution. It is rare since no other player in the industry has taken such a holistic approach to sustainability; the industry focus is currently placed on “popular”

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