October 21, 2014
Dana BaldwinDo you know what your customers really value? What are they willing to pay for that you can bring to the market place? What is important to them that you can provide? Does this give you an advantage in the environment in which you work? Can you use this advantage to improve your competitive position? Please comment on our blog.

Sincerely,

M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Value or Low Price?

By M. Dana Baldwin

Robert Bradford When you learn what your customers value, then you can build on these values to gain an edge in the market place. While price is almost always a consideration, what the customer really is looking for is a solution to a problem. When all other factors are essentially equal, then price will be a determining factor. So, if you have you listened well enough to determine what the problem is, deeply enough to realistically provide an optimal solution to that problem, then you actually can compete effectively for the customer's business, even against a lower priced competitor.

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Questions & Answers

Can some of your strategic planning tools be used outside of the formal planning process?

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We have made several failed attempts at Strategic Planning in the past. How can we improve our chances of success?

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This column is intended to answer common questions related to strategic planning and strategy in general. In each issue we will answer questions posed by seminar attendees, our clients and our readers. Please send your questions to - simplifiedstrategicplanning@cssp.com Mail: CSSP, Inc. 2219 Packard Road, Suite 13, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Article Archives

Did you miss these recent articles?

Execution and Executability

By Robert W. Bradford

When I ask audience members at my seminars and speeches "What is your biggest strategic planning problem right now?", I inevitably hear the response "Implementation". Without question, this is one of the biggest issues for any company trying to accomplish anything at a strategic level -- execution seems to inevitably fall short of our stated intentions.

GE Spins off Major Appliance DivisionWhat Can a Small Company Learn from this Divestiture?

By Denise Harrison

GE is spinning off its Major Appliance division, highlighting the importance of making choices in strategic planning. In this case, Jeff Immelt, GE's CEO, is making the choice to focus on the higher margin energy, power, aviation, and health care businesses.

Strategic Planning Team - What Company Functions Should Be Represented?

By M. Dana Baldwin

How many people does it take to develop a good, actionable strategy for your company? The most straightforward answer is: it depends. It depends on how big and how complex your organization is. It depends on how entrenched people are in silos. It depends on how good your internal communications are. It depends on the trust levels within the organization.

Innovation and Strategy

By Robert W. Bradford

These two words go together sickeningly often. Every buzz-word spouting bozo tends to refer to themselves as "inspiring strategic innovation" or "working on innovation strategy". But these words have very specific meanings, and, when it comes to strategy, there is innovation that will be strategic, and innovation that will not be.

What Changes Impact Your Bottom Line?Hint: There Is More To Pricing than Meets the Eye

By Denise Harrison

In their well-researched book, entitled The Price Advantage the authors (Baker, Marn, and Zawada) use the following statistics to highlight the importance of pricing: A 1% increase in price achieves an 11% improvement in operating profit. This statistic should make us take some time to think about our pricing policies.

What is Focus?

By M. Dana Baldwin

What is focus? Why is focusing on your business so important it should be a key element of your strategic planning? Why is it a key to your ongoing success? What happens when you lose focus?

Ready, Aim, Fire?

By Robert W. Bradford

In over 1,600 strategic planning meetings, I have noticed that people have a tendency to approach their planning process from many different angles. One of the most interesting sets of angles revolves around the very common idea that we can hit our targets more accurately using the sequence "Ready, aim, fire". This sequence originated...

Playing to Win - Thoughts from Lafley

Review by Denise Harrison

Playing to Win is A.G. Lafley's book on how he determined strategy when he was at the helm of P&G from 2000 to 2009 - and interestingly enough, he is back at the helm of P&G. While there is little new ground covered in this book, it is a good refresher...

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