A good, solid, differentiating Strategy isn’t easy to understand, let alone implement and go to market. Many great, large consulting firms have used powerful frameworks with analytical rigor with companies, but I believe they are missing an important evolution of strategy which is about the psychology, thinking and feeling of the essence of strategy. The shifts in cultural values, causes and beliefs among new world customers which have direct impact on a successful winning strategy. This isn’t so much about what has shifted in the budgets—it’s more about what has shifted in consumers and therefore, market forces.
This essence of strategy needs to be understood and embraced by the leaders of the company. Sure, we can use fancy words and tools to diagnose, search and forecast. They are all necessary. But bottom line is an understanding of why you have or have not been making money, and what needs to shift to create a differentiating value in The New World Marketplace versus the competing alternatives.
More often than not, it starts with senior leaders facing the brutal facts about their own biases and past orthodoxies that hold them back from tapping into a profitable new world market. And that’s where commitment and conviction to strategy falls short. Transferring frameworks into actionable specifics and guidelines are important to strategy… so are the reallocations of resources along with commitment to analytical rigor and constant re-evaluations. But truth is, leaders of companies have escaped the middle class in their daily lives, and often fail to understand that they can’t escape the rapid changes in the middle class with their strategy—unless they do something very unique and special with luxury brands riding on industry trends for a very short period of time. Even Neiman Marcus, BMW, Mercedes and many other luxury brands are trying to tap into the middle class market and the 3 major macro trends of women, youth and multicultural.
The magic of strategy happens where there is more focus on positional improvements, not just performance improvement. Positioning the company against the right, growing macro trends–where and how to compete by right target market selection.
It behooves me on how leaders and companies view this critical part of strategy as marketing. Of course, I believe a good Chief Marketing Officer should be the brand guard and completely capable of delivering the right positioning against the right trends and insights. But this may explain why so many companies these days are starting to hire Chief Strategy Officers as well as Chief Marketing Officers. Whether that’s a CMO talent issue, or both positions will combine into one again soon after, it certainly keeps large strategic consulting firms like McKinsey in business for a long period of time. The future you need to plan for is not just about overcoming the profit-depleting effects of the market forces. It is about the psychology of becoming your own future rival, and willingness to embrace the New World Marketplace customers.
Flatter me please… click here for a quick grasp on why the positioning improvement is the essence of strategy and why it will help you succeed in 2014 and beyond. And then ask yourself, do you have the right strategy for 2014?