Product Innovation Tops Customer Acquisition as a Top Business Priority in 2014

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Product innovation is a higher priority than customer acquisition among business executives in 2014 according to a CEO survey conducted by Big Four accounting professional service network PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The survey also found that establishing strategic alliances and joint ventures is another high priority, especially among German executives – and innovation and partnerships often go hand-in-hand.

The findings come as a surprise to many who expected executives to list increased market share as their top priority. The results, however, illustrate a growing awareness that pursuing broad goals like acquiring new customers or increasing market share is unlikely to lead to favorable outcomes. Rather it’s through pursuing more defined goals, such as forming new partnerships with overseas counterparts or sourcing a new supplier, that businesses are able to increase their market share and expand their customer base.

This was certainly the case for OMilk founders and executives Greg and Julie Van Ullen who recently achieved their goal of expanding into new markets by connecting with a supplier that would enable them to increase the shelf life of their product.

Greg and Julie turned to Powerlinx to source a new bottle supplier that would allow for high pressure bottling, a process that would take the shelf life of their organic products from eight days to well over three weeks – without pasteurization or preservatives.

Matched with Craig Saltz of Salbro Bottle, the newlywed founders were able to expand their existing Whole Foods contract from seven Whole Foods locations in New York City to Whole Foods stores throughout the entire Northeast Region.

“This bottle situation was integral to us expanding and growing as a company,” Greg said. “We really had hit a roadblock otherwise.”

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