Happy New Year! My wish for all my readers is that 2017 will be filled with good health, good choices and prosperity and a year where you recognize opportunities and successfully move forward to attain what will benefit you.
Part of the process of realizing your goals may involve strategic planning. The process of strategic planning encourages business leadership teams to ask (the right) questions about the value that the business creates and sells at a profit, which is a reflection of its vision and mission. The goals, objectives, business model and guiding principles (that is, culture and values) are likewise impacted by the organization’s vision and mission. Below are six strategic planning and positioning principles to enhance your planning.
Principle 1: Sustained profitability
Economic value and the conditions for generating profits are created when clients value your product or service enough to pay more than it costs the business (you) to produce and provide it. Strategic planning is all about Defining business goals and objectives and devising strategies and action plans with the thought of ROI, in particular long-term ROI, in mind. Assuming that profits will be inevitable when sales volume and/or market share are the most accurate measurements of success is not the best way to approach the matter.
Principle 2: Value proposition
First, be certain that what you consider to be the value proposition—that is, the most desirable benefits—matches what clients consider to be the value proposition. Be aware that strategy is not about offering services or products that will be all things to all prospective clients. Businesses are in need of strategies that allow the venture to compete in a way that allows it to effectively and efficiently deliver what clients consider the value proposition.
Principle 3: Competitive advantage
The unique and desirable benefits that sustain the value proposition must be reflected in and supported by strategy that shapes them into a sustainable competitive advantage. The successful enterprise will differentiate itself from competitors through the products or services offered, how those are packaged and/or delivered, customer service practices, branding, pricing and so on; those unique features and practices will matter to current and prospective clients. Still, the company’s business model will likely resemble that of its rivals.
Principle 4: Choices and priorities
Resources are inevitably finite and choices about your products and/or services must be made, in order to define what is necessary and possible and therefore, a priority. Some product or service features will not be offered, so that the benefits (priorities) that clients have chosen as highly desirable can be optimized. These priorities are what sets the business apart from competitors and define the brand.
Principle 5: Flow
Choices and priorities must be baked into the strategies that you and the leadership team devise, to enhance and enable the consistent delivery of the value proposition. These strategies will be both stand-alone and interdependent, like dominoes. Choices made to define the target customers that the business will pursue also impact product design and by necessity will impact choices that determine the manufacturing process and its cost. Choices that determine what will be included in a service will be influenced by the expected target customers and will impact how that service is delivered and priced. Choices about product positioning and branding will impact where the product is sold and the marketing strategy.
Principle 6: Direction
The late style icon Diana Vreeland, who served as editor-in-chief at both Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar Magazines, once said that “elegance is refusal.” A company must define its unique value proposition and that will eventually cause certain potential choices to be declined, because they are contrary to the brand. The product or service lines can be altered to satisfy customer demands over time and business models can be adjusted to reflect current or anticipated market conditions. Nevertheless, the vision and mission must be upheld to maintain brand awareness and trust. Strategic direction will guide that process.
Thanks for reading,