20
Jun

A few weeks ago I was teaching at a seminar of the European Commission program Health-2-Market (organized by Qplan, hosted by the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, and delivered by IE). This was one of the many training activities I have participated in this program, the purpose of which is to imbue health researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs with a business mindset.

Health2Market

What always strikes me in these trainings, is the difficulty of researchers to fully understand the key concept of value. This difficulty becomes most apparent in the discussion of pricing issues. When I say that a health service (e.g., some type of diagnosis) should be priced according to the value it offers to the consumer, I always get pushed back by participants arguing that even when the value of the service is big, it is unethical to charge, e.g., 600 for something that costs only 150. To some extent, this counter-arguing is expected as high moral standards are prevalent among health scientists. However, here are three reasons why value-based pricing is necessary, to some extent, even for health-businesses.

First, like every business, those in the health sector need to maintain some level of profitability in order to remain in business and improve their services. That is, the extra profits can be used for further investments and improvements in the service (which in this case can be translated to saving lives).

Second, keeping aside everything else, value-based pricing may make perfect (logical and ethical) sense from a financial perspective. For instance, a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s, children obesity, diabetes, etc., may cost only 200 euros. However, for some cases, this diagnosis may help some families avoid financial losses of thousands of euros in medication and other treatments, not considering psychological costs. It only looks fair, then, that the company who helped prevent these losses gets its share.

Third, most people have no idea if a therapy, a diagnosis, etc. is “good” or not. In this case, they often have to rely on heuristic “cues” to assess if it is trustworthy or not. In such cases, a prescribed treatment that costed 600 euros may be seen as more reliable than one that did cost only 150, and may thus be followed more closely and be more effective. (See here and here for related research).

Clearly, everyone involved in the health sector should have high moral standards, and those standards should extend to a “fair” price. However, common conceptions of fairness may be myopic along all the dimensions outlined above. At the end of the day, if a health-business feels it is over-charging, it can always donate the extra profits to charity, health research organizations, etc.

More about Health2market e-training: http://elearning.health2market.eu/
More about Health2market: http://www.health2market.eu/

Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University

Antonios . Stamatogiannakis @ ie . edu

30
May

In previous posts,I have given examples on the complexity of deciding about Customers and Collaborators in the Health Industry. Now, I turn into discussing another important “C”, namely Competitors.

In the final academy of the European Commission program Health-2-Market (that took place at IE on May11-15), a common confusion as to who can be considered as a competitor occurred. Specifically, two prospective start-ups, were dealing largely with the same problem. They were developing solutions to the Pharma industry regarding how to make more more efficient the drug development process. A quick note here, this is a huge market; The development of a single drug can cost more than 2 billion euros!! Although both projects had the same objective, they used markedly different technologies. One project was based purely on novel chemical analysis, while the other was based on improving the already widely adopted HCS (high content screening).

http://www.health2market.eu/images/head1.jpg

As is the case for many entrepreneurs, these projects did not see each other as competitors, at least at the beginning. In their eyes, a competitor was someone who uses (or can use) the same technology as they. As both solutions were pretty novel, they both thought that at least for now, there was no competition. The problem became visible only when they had to present their marketing plan one next to the other (for a related post look here). Then, it was obvious that they will be fighting for the same needs, and thus the same budget (for efficient drug development) of Pharma companies, so they had to consider each other as competitor. They were going towards the same target, but via different routes!

http://www.wisteria.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Company-Formation-14.jpg

In general, many companies (especially smaller ones), fail to see that a competitor is not someone who does same things as they do, but someone who covers the same customer need as they do. In the example above, a competitor is not someone using the same technology, but someone aspiring to improve the drug development process, regardless of technology. In the same vein, a competitor for a canteen at Retiro, is not only other canteens at Retiro, but also canteens at Casa de Campo, as well as vido game manufacturers, and subscription TV channels. All of those, compete for the leisure time and money budgets of Madrid consumers. Realizing how complicated competition can be (even for a canteen), drastically changes how one sees a business model.

 

More about Health2market e-training: http://elearning.health2market.eu/
More about Health2market: http://www.health2market.eu/

Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University

Antonios . Stamatogiannakis @ ie . edu

20
May

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La innovación que realmente importa toma las formas más ocurrentes. Hoy me gustaría hablar de una de las formas menos convencionales de distribuir energía a las comunidades más remotas, ¡mochilas inflables!
Como hemos venido hablando, la provisión de energía es uno de los problemas más importantes a los que se enfrentan las zonas rurales pobres. La mayor fuente de energía para cocinar y una fuente de luz para millones de personas, sigue siendo la quema de materiales fósiles, madera y carbón que además de la deforestación que producen y el tiempo que se consume en su recogida; su combustión, la mayoría en el interior, emana gases muy nocivos para la salud, además de presentar alto riesgo de incendio.
Como ya comenté, una de las empresas más exitosas en la base de la pirámide, d.light, fabrica lámparas solares para producir electricidad como sustituto barato, saludable y duradero de las lámparas de keroseno. Hoy me gustaría hablar de (B)energy que produce de biogas a partir de excrementos de animales y desecho de plantas. Es sin duda, una de las alternativas más baratas y disponibles para la producción de energía para cocinar.
Dos son los principales problemas a la hora de producir y comercializar el biogás. Por un lado, un procesador de biogás es normalmente demasiado caro a nivel individual. Por eso hay que producir el gas, transportarlo y venderlo como un producto más. Y ahí radica el siguiente problema, la distribución del gas a la casa del cliente de forma fácil rápida y sin grandes inversiones. Para eso Katrin Puezts, estudiante alemana de la universidad de Hohenheim, ha creado sus “mochilas inflables”, capaces de trasportar 1.2 metros cúbicos de gas suficiente para cocinar durante 4 horas.
(B) energy la empresa que ha creado Katrin, fabrica además todos los productos necesarios en toda la cadena de valor del biogás, desde la producción, a la distribución, y consumo. Todos ellos con una aproximación al cliente y a sus necesidades, fácil de entender, instalar y usar y con materiales disponibles en su entorno.

Producción: (B) Plant: Un sencillo procesador de biogás semi-transportable consistente en una carpa y una unidad capaz de generar 2.5m3 de gas al día con 50kg de excrementos de vaca . ¡Dos vacas en una noche generan 15 kg!! También se puede usar excremento de cabra, gallina, cerdo o cualquier desecho orgánico.

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Distribución: (B) Pack: Una resistente mochila de gas capaz de transportar 1.2 m3 de gas y 4,5 kg de peso. Sin riesgo de explosión por los materiales con los que está construida. La mochila se rellena directamente en el procesador con sólo conectar la tubería, se transporta con las bridas y se conecta al hornillo en la casa del cliente.

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Uso: (B) Flame. Un hornillo que se puede enchufar directamente al (B)Pack y listo para cocinar. (B) Energy está experimentando con distintos modelos, tamaños y formas para adaptarse a la forma de cocinar de los distintos lugares. El hornillo es producido localmente.

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La producción local de biogás, genera además un negocio recurrente para los productores de gas con la sola inversión inicial de la planta de procesamiento del gas y las mochilas. Lo que hace el negocio mucho más sostenible que un producto vendido o producido por alguien de fuera de la comunidad.
El producto de desecho del proceso sirve como fertilizante orgánico, también muy demandado en estas comunidades por los altos precios del fertilizante sobre todo en África. A su vez, evita que el metano, un gas muy nocivo para la capa de ozono, se vaya a la atmósfera.
El sistema ha funcionado en modo piloto en Etiopia, Kenya y Tanzania y ya hay negocios en la ciudad de Arsinegele en el Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia, a 280 km sur de Addis Abeba. En este momento, la empresa ya tiene franquiciados en Etiopia y Chile que venderán directamente en las comunidades la tecnología a la vez que dan formación a sus clientes. Proporcionando un negocio sostenible para aquellas personas que quieran convertirse en productores de biogás para su comunidad, y mejorando las condiciones de vida de las comunidades más pobres.

Sólo tres cosas me preocupan de este sistema; por un lado la necesidad de agua para la producción del combustible. Por cada 15 kg de excremento se necesitan mezclar 15 litros de agua para producir el biogas. El agua puede ser agua no potable, de lluvia o incluso de limpiar o lavar, pero es mucha cantidad para la época seca de muchos países africanos. Lo que no impide que sea una perfecta solución para un sinfín de países pobres con abundante agua ya que sólo emplea agua de desecho.
Por otro lado el precio actual, 200€ por el procesador más 43€ por bolsa, todavía es muy alto para mercados en la base de la pirámide, aunque esté financiado con microcréditos. Esperemos que con la expansión del sistema, una vez alcanzadas economías de escala, estos precios se puedan ir reduciendo. Katrin ya está montando un fondo revolving en Alemania para poder financiar a los franquiciados que son los que mayor volumen de fondos requieren.
Por último, el volumen de la mochila de gas, más apto para zonas rurales con abundante espacio en el exterior ya que no cabría en los ínfimos habitáculos en los que viven las personas de bajos recursos en las zonas urbanas.

Pero ninguno de ellos es irresoluble cuando la solución es buena y la demanda expectante. Según Dereje Yilma, ministro de tecnología de energía alternativa etíope, “La producción y distribución de biogás, potenciará la implementación de su programa nacional de biogás mejorando sustancialmente las fuentes de energía alternativa para el país. Un reto importante para nosotros, para no depender de fuentes externas.”

¿Veremos las zonas rurales pobres del planeta llenas de mochilas de 4 m2 infladas con gas como forma de distribuir energía?

Espero comentarios!! aquí o en @marialescorial

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9
May

In every marketing endeavor, the first step is the market analysis, what is known as the 5 Cs; Consumer, Company, Competitors, Context, and Collaborators. While all the Cs are important, depending on the case, their importance may vary. For instance, in the case of start-ups, typically the available resources are limited. As such, start-ups are often forced to collaborate with other companies/ organizations in order to operate. The choice of collaborators, then, becomes crucial.

In a recent seminar of the European Commission program Health-2-Market (organized by Qplan, hosted by the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, and delivered by IE) the tradeoffs that many start-ups have to consider when choosing collaborators, especially in the health-sector, came up.

Health2Market

Specifically, start-ups in the Health Sector typically have some knowledge and/or innovation-based competitive edge. However, they also typically lack the resources to reach a critical mass of consumers, that could get a profitable business going. At the same time, there is a multitude of potential collaborators in the field, that can give easy access to these consumers. For instance, a start-up possessing an innovative technology of gene-diagnostics and the expertise to efficiently operate it, does not necessarily have easy access to target groups that would be potentially interested for this service – let’s say women who are or want to soon get pregnant. To reach those women, this start-up can collaborate with either self-employed doctors, or with small independent maternity clinics, or with very large hospitals that own maternity clinics.

Here is the tradeoff. A strong collaborator will probably bring a large customer base for the start-up, but will also have a lot more power in relation to the start-up. To continue with the example above, a start-up collaborating with a large hospital will probably get fast many customers. However, if the hospital sees that there is high demand for the service of the start-up, it will soon develop it for its own, and will not need the start-up any more. The big fish will prevail. This problem becomes even larger as typically diagnostic tools and processes are hard to get legal protection.

On the other hand, if the start-up cooperates with smaller collaborators, the risk of getting driven out of market will be smaller. At the same time, however, it will be a lot harder to get a critical mass of customers soon enough.

Clearly, there is not a single answer regarding which collaborators should a start-up choose. While deciding though, any start-up must balance the benefits of getting early revenues, with the long-term risk of becoming too exposed to collaborators who may end up being competitors. In any case, while in business, the start-up should try to develop and maintain close relations with its customers, and build a strong and unique brand name for itself, independently of its potential collaborators.

More about Health2market e-training: http://elearning.health2market.eu/
More about Health2market: http://www.health2market.eu/

Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University

Antonios . Stamatogiannakis @ ie . edu

24
Apr

Nike Atmosphere Max ninety “Cork” – The actual Wait Is nearly Over

Written on April 24, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez Baptista in Uncategorized

The Nike Atmosphere Max 90’s 25th anniversary is placed to provide us some good designs this season. With the actual “Infrared Croc” color ways set release a later this particular month, the Nike Atmosphere Max ninety “Cork” may be the next color ways set release a this weekend break.

This isn’t the very first time Nike offers utilized the actual “Cork” feature on the sneaker. Also utilizing it on the actual LeBron 10 and a future Nike SB, the “Cork” color ways has gradually become acceptable within the sneaker neighborhood. This colorway from the Nike Atmosphere Max ninety is decked out inside a fully cork top with Dark finishes all through. Infrared accenting is actually added being an extra contact as White about the midsole completes the appearance.

The Nike Atmosphere Max ninety “Cork” is actually slated discharge April 25th, so tell us what you believe of the actual sneaker beneath!

24
Apr

Another Consider the Nike Air Max “Anniversary” – Red-colored Velvet

Written on April 24, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez Baptista in Uncategorized

The celebration from the cheap air max 25th wedding anniversary continues with this particular special Red-colored Velvet edition from the iconic Tinker-Hatfield created silhouette.

Staying true towards the design which we’ve all arrived at adore, this specific rendition from the Air Maximum 90 inherits the luscious Red-colored velvet top for easy luxury pizzazz and seemingly right for an wedding anniversary finish. Additional eye-catching elements are supplied by Infrared strikes gracing the actual eyelets, back heel badge, language, frontal part of the outsole and also the distinctive Atmosphere Max bubble unit within the heel.

Offset with a crisp, Whitened midsole, details of Dark summarize the actual vibrant make-up, which is on the Swoosh, outsole, lining as well as Nike Atmosphere branding applied about the rear.

Listed like a women’s design only, you’ll find this Nike Atmosphere Max ninety “Anniversary” within Red Purple velvet at choose Nike merchants starting 04 24th with regard to $135.

24
Apr

THE ACTUAL NIKE ATMOSPHERE MAX “CORK” PRODUCES TOMORROW

Written on April 24, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez Baptista in Uncategorized

Following a long number of preview appears and expectation, fans from the cheap air max “Cork” may finally take open their own wallets as well as pop on the pairs from the celebratory shoe tomorrow. Included in the iconic Atmosphere Max runner’s 25th wedding anniversary “Infrared” selection, the corked-out edition from the legendary Infrared color ways certainly isn’t likely to last long about the shelves. So appreciate one final round associated with beauty pictures and develop your arrange for purchasing the actual “Corks”—or every other member from the 25th wedding anniversary collection—at choose Nike Sportswear shops like Additional Butter upon Friday, 04 24th.

18
Apr

Passing above a low bar or below a high one?

Written on April 18, 2015 by Antonios Stamatogiannakis in Research in practice

Many companies (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc.) evaluate their employees based on their relative ranking. That is, an employee is not getting extra rewards (bonuses, etc.) based on his/her performance, but based on how good this performance is in comparison to other employees. At the same time, other companies (e.g., Microsoft), are abandoning such relative evaluation systems.

What can be hidden behind these inconsistent practices? One thing seems to be certain – relative evaluation systems – that is, rewarding people (employees, students, consumers, etc.) based on how well they do relative to their peers – seem to work better in some cases than in others.

In recent research* (forthcoming at Human Resource Management) that we conducted at IE with the doctoral candidate Jonathan Luffarelli and the marketing professor Dilney Goncalves, we provide such an example.

In this research, we examine the satisfaction with performance of the people being evaluated (e.g., employees) relatively to their peers. We found that when the people being evaluated focus on their own performance, as expected, they are more satisfied as this performance gets better. However, when they focus on how their performance compares to that of others, an interesting effect occurs. If everyone’s performance gets higher by a certain amount, the relative evaluation remains unchanged. However, at the same time, the performance “bar” is raised – as everyone is doing now exceptionally well. As a result, comparing one’s performance with this new-very high bar- makes one feel less satisfied with his/her performance.

These mechanics would suggest that when the employees of an organization are evaluated generously, a relative evaluation system would make them relatively dis-satisfied. When they are evaluated strictly, though, a relative evaluation system would increase their satisfaction.

Clearly, other things may also vary when a relative evaluation system is implemented. One of them, for example, could be the very tendency of people to compare themselves with others (versus only examine their own performance). It is good to see that both academics and managers are trying to figure out the exact forces that come into play.

Stay tuned for more research based insights!

Antonios (Adoni) Stamatogiannakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Marketing
IE Business School – IE University

antonios.stamatogiannakis@ie.edu

*The Research leading to these results has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions ) of the European Union´s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement No. 298420.

13
Apr

Well, They did it again.
Dove makes me write posts. Everytime I see their new communication campaigns, they make think, they challenge my intuition and rise my admiration.

This time is about men…

I understand after Dove brand expansion success it makes sense to enter adjacent categories to skincare such as haircare, body care … I understand… but MEN?

Even if you think it could be a good business opportunity, how would you enter a male category coming from such strong female perspective?

Well, look at this Dove for men Superbowl ad and judge

Well, what do you think? Moved?

I believe Dove has been able to transfer in a very smart way the Dove Brand purpose to the men’s world…Chapeau!

However, do you think this brand purpose is relevant in the male grooming category ( being shaving the quintessential )?

How can you enter the dominated/super competitive shaving category?

Probably Dove has been guessing about it… in order to build relevance they may look for some unserved functional attributes and show expertise and authority in this matter…

Let me show a couple of ads

Pure Functional, explaining the shaving as a ritual

and more insightful…. shaving is a ritual from fathers to sons. Shaving is more than a shave…Beautiful.

Think beyond your razor they say!!!! ( I wonder what is Gillette thinking now…right?)

…and  a great insight about  the meaning of shaving:  reassuring and make men feel confident

What do you think ?

What would you have done?

I would like to make this post more interactive. Please tell me your point of view!

Answer yes/no in this (anonymous) survey to this question Do you think is appropriate for Dove to expand to male care?http://goo.gl/forms/cqWBujriOO

http://goo.gl/forms/cqWBujriOO

I will share the results with you all next week. Promise

I am intriguing to know your opinion, thanks!

Have a nice week

2
Apr

2 de abril, Día Mundial de Concienciación sobre el Autismo.

Specialisterne, empresa creada por Thorkil Sonne hace 10 años, brinda a las empresas a utilizar las singulares y extraordinarias capacidades de las personas autistas en las pruebas de software o en el tratamiento masivo de documentos. Las personas con Trastorno de Espectro Autista (TEA), son especialmente competitivos en aquellas tareas que precisan atención al detalle, tenacidad, competencias visuales, consistencia, baja tolerancia al error, detección de patrones, u honestidad.
Specialisterne resume todas esas características, de una forma simplificada, con su lema de “Pasión por los detalles”.

logo specialisterne

La “pasión por los detalles” y la “baja tolerancia al error” les permite proporcionar una mayor calidad en este tipo de tareas. Su tenacidad les permite obtener un rendimiento que muchas veces supera al de otras personas para tareas de software testing o de gestión documental. Aún más importante, el rendimiento no empeora sino que mejora con el tiempo aunque la tarea sea tediosa o repetitiva. Los consultores de Specialisterne “ven” cosas que otras personas no ven: su rigurosidad y atención a las reglas prefijadas les permiten detectar detalles que otras personas ignoran. Y su capacidad para detectar patrones les permiten descubrir reglas donde otras personas solo ven errores aleatorios.
SAP y otras empresas ya emplean empleados de Specialisterne en 14 países del mundo. Según los últimos estudios, más del 1% de la población mundial tiene un TEA, y excepto en los casos más leves ello suele implicar la exclusión del mercado laboral, hasta el punto de que se estima que el 80 % de los adultos con este trastorno están sin trabajo.
Las especiales y superiores capacidades de este colectivo ha llevado a SAP, después de las experiencias realizadas en Irlanda, India, Canadá y EEUU, que han reducido un 5% los errores de programación del gigante informático, a comprometerse en que un 1% de su plantilla en 2020 (como 650 empleados) serán personas con TEA.

Specialisterne España se estableció en 2013 primero en Barcelona y recientemente en Madrid. Ya tiene acuerdos con algunas empresas españolas que emplean personas con TEA, tanto en el control de documentación, revisión de contratos o testeo de aplicación para aerolíneas, pero todavía tiene un largo recorrido de generación de cadenas hibridas de valor en nuestro país. Según un estudio de Specialisterne, se considera que el 3% de las tareas que realizan las empresas son susceptibles de ser realizadas con brillantez por profesionales con TEA.
Su fundador, Throkil Sonne, ha sido invitado a la ONU hoy 2 de abril día mundial de concienciación sobre el autismo para presentar su iniciativa, implantada ya en 14 países.
El objetivo de Specialisterne para el 2020 es generar 1.000.000 de trabajos entre personas con TEA.

Ideas? Alguna otra iniciativa relevante en este campo? Os espero aqui o en @marialescorial

foto empleado specialisterne

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