You’re probably asking yourself, what is the best strategy in uncertain times? How do I position my business to win?
The answer may be closer than you think. Be true to your values, purpose and ‘Secret Sauce.’
How to Plot your Strategy
I’ll use this simple Venn Diagram to explain:
- The circle on the right represents the market. Remember that the total market cannot be yours to own as some parts of it are geographically out of reach, your competitor owns a portion, or parts of the market choose to not buy.
- The circle on the left represents your competition. Remember that competition is more than meets the eye. Competition can also be anything that competes for discretionary income. For example, Cirque du Soleil views its competitors as restaurants, theatres, movies, home entertaining, etc.
- The circle on the bottom is you and your business.
- Where your competitor and the market intersect, that represents a part of the market that your competitor is ‘excellent’ at. It may be that they are more efficient than you. Example… Easy Jet wins over British Airways in some cases because their fares are cheap. British Airways wins over Easy Jet because of service.
- Where all three circles intersect, the market becomes confused and it is a ‘race to the bottom’ on price. Example… Mobile Cell Operators all say they are the best. Customers don’t see the advantage and always shop with their wallets.
- The weird place is where the competitor’s circle and yours intersect. Often in weird, uncertain times (like we have right now), businesses pay too much attention to each other and not what the market needs (or as Steve Jobs famously once said: “customers don’t know what they want”). This space is a total waste of time and adds no customer value.
- Where your circle intersects the market is your Secret Sauce. This is where customers see value from you and they become stark raving apostles about you, your company and your products and services. Example… I am a fan of Apple. My MacBook cost four times what a Dell laptop costs yet I paid the difference because I believe it is a better product. (In reality, my MacBook still is able to build and show a PowerPoint presentation and a word document like every other computer). To win in uncertain times, be more of what you are. It is very hard to change your ‘spots.’
- The spot next to your Secret Sauce is where your opportunity is. Look adjacently to your secret sauce. This is where you will seize the opportunity in any crisis.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC-based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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