This article outlines four strategies that service companies can use to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Entrepreneurship, business management, marketing

Key Questions to Explore:

  • Why is innovation critical to the service sector?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

This lesson introduces new concepts focused on innovation.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Ask students to differentiate between a service business and a non-service business, using examples.
  • Discuss the concept of innovation with the class and ask for some examples of innovation from some of their favorite businesses.
  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • In groups of four, have students identify examples for each of the innovation strategies outlined in the article.
  • Have students brainstorm additional ideas for two services.
  • Combine groups and have them share their ideas.
  • Ask for examples to share with the class.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Have students prepare a one minute paper on the value of innovation to the service sector.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students understand innovation and how it can be applied in the service sector.

Confirming Activity:

  • In pairs, have students visit a local service business and inquire how they innovate to stay ahead of the competition.  Have them report back to the class.