Newport Interactive Marketers took a broader approach to its usual new-media focus to welcome Harvard Business School’s approach to developing a strategy for your brand.
NEW STRATEGY GROUP Founder P. Lawrence Fagan earned an MBA from HarvardBusiness School, where he spent 11 years researching corporate and organization strategy, six years as a member of the HBS research faculty.
While at HBS, Mr. Fagan contributed to the development of a general theory of organizations and authored numerous business case studies, several of them bestsellers. Subsequently, he worked nine years as a strategy leader causing breakthroughs for clients in diverse industries and geographies with Monitor Company, HBS Executive Education, the Corporate Learning division of Harvard Business Publishing, and independently.
What Is Corporate Strategy?
Strategy is an integrated set of choices an enterprise makes to create a unique and valuable position in market space.
Unfortunately, employees seldom know or understand the corporate strategy.
A study in Australia found that 70% of the company doesn’t “get it” when their CEO talks about strategy.
According to Fagan, we are living in strategy’s dark age. We are so busy with daily tasks that we don’t see the big picture and to develop something that is effective. You must see the big picture.
10 Fatal Misconceptions About Strategy
- Striving to be the best
- Strategy is goal-setting
- Strategy is innovation
- Being all things to all people
- It’s your boss’ problem
- Strategy is secret
- Only abstract
- It’s academic
- Having one doesn’t matter, execution does
- It’s a form of measurement
Strategy and Purpose Are Not the Same
- Purpose: Our call to action
- Values: Our beliefs and code of conduct
- Vision: The immediate future we are creating for the company
- Strategy: The choices we make to build unique and valuable positioning in our markets, enabling us to win.
- Metrics: How we track the performance
The Universal Structure
- A goal that is singular, time-delimited
- A clear advantage to customers, in specific geographies with a winning proposition
- Activity Set – degree of vertical integration, interlinked activities
The Key to Strategy
- If you can’t turn a goal to action, it doesn’t exist
- You must offer something unique and different: If you’re for everybody, you’re for nobody
- You’ve identified a set of problems on customers’ behalf and owning those problems for them – that’s the key!
How to Be Different
- You must always be different. Different in ways that matter to your target customers.
- Deliver reliably on your offering. Don’t say one thing and deliver another. Be reliably different.
What Is Your Winning Proposition?
What is uniquely yours to say?
Paint a portrait to the customer to articulate your value proposition.
For example, what is the unique winning proposition of Coke Zero?
First, determine Coke Zero’s unique qualities and the target audience.
- Zero calories
- For people who like Coke
- Dieting, health conscious
Now, craft your unique winning proposition Only Coke Zero gives you zero calories with the same great taste.