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A Plan is Not a Strategy

An exploration of key positioning strategy principles, presented by Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group.

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A Plan is Not a Strategy

  1. 1. YOU HAVE A STRATEGIC PLAN, BUT YOU MAY NOT HAVE A STRATEGY Presented by Tim Williams @TimWilliamsICG Ignition Consulting Group
  2. 2. In a single sentence, describe your firm as though you were talking to a prospective client. What is your elevator pitch?
  3. 3. Is this a focused positioning strategy?
  4. 4. Is this a focused positioning strategy?
  5. 5. Is this a focused positioning strategy?
  6. 6. One of the most comprehensive studies of business success ever published, in which over 200 management practices were studied A clearly stated, focused strategy Source: Nohria, Joyce, & Roberson, “What Really Works,” Harvard Business Review, Only one business practice has a causal relationship to superior business performance:
  7. 7. What is good strategy? What is bad strategy?
  8. 8. 1. We will be the law firm of choice in our region. 2. We will delight our clients with unique, effective solutions to their problems. 3. We will grow revenue by at least 20% each year. 4. We will maintain a profit margin of at least 20%. 5. We will have a culture of commitment. 6. We will foster an honest and open work environment. 7. We will work to support the broader community in which we operate. OUR STRATEGY
  9. 9. 1. We will be the law firm of choice in our region. 2. We will delight our clients with unique, effective solutions to their problems. 3. We will grow revenue by at least 20% each year. 4. We will maintain a profit margin of at least 20%. 5. We will have a culture of commitment. 6. We will foster an honest and open work environment. 7. We will work to support the broader community in which we operate. OUR STRATEGY Mistaking goals for strategy
  10. 10. Mistaking plans for strategy
  11. 11. = Taking steps Business Planning Business Strategy What to include Forecasting finances = Making choices What to leave out Forecasting the future Emergent Deliberate
  12. 12. “Strategy is a set of choices about how to win.” A.G. Lafley CEO (Former) Procter & Gamble
  13. 13. “Strategy is a set of choices about how to win.” A.G. Lafley CEO (Former) Procter & Gamble
  14. 14. Michael Porter Harvard Business School “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
  15. 15. Positioning = Trade Offs
  16. 16. Positioning = Deciding what not to do
  17. 17. Positioning = Deciding what not to do
  18. 18. CLIENT SIZE FIRM FOCUS Best-of-Breed Firms Larger National Clients “Generalist” Firms Smaller Regional Clients
  19. 19. WHAT WHY WHO WAY The problems we solve The markets we serve The approach we take The purpose we pursue
  20. 20. WHAT The problems we solve
  21. 21. Jobs to be done to solve an important problem or fulfill and important need. Offering, which satisfies the problem or fulfills the need. CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL Jobs to Be Done Theory WHAT The problems we solve
  22. 22. You can be good at something, but you can’t be good at everything. WHAT The problems we solve
  23. 23. WHAT The problems we solve Are you selling the drill or the hole?
  24. 24. WHAT The problems we solve Drills.
  25. 25. WHAT The problems we solve CLIENT Business problems they are trying to solve Specific outcomes they seek Services they buy from us to solve these problems and produce these outcomes
  26. 26. WHAT The problems we solve OPTICS SIGHT
  27. 27. WHAT The problems we solve
  28. 28. WHAT The problems we solve
  29. 29. WHAT The problems we solve
  30. 30. Walt Disney’s approach to maximizing value from a core competency. WHAT The problems we solve Not just capabilities, but a self-reinforcing system of capabilities.
  31. 31. WHAT The problems we solve APPLE Mac iPhone iPad iWatch iTunes An ecosystem that provides exponential benefits for customers.
  32. 32. WHAT The problems we solve An ecosystem that provides exponential benefits for customers. Nike+ Running App Shoes Apparel Equipment Nike+ FuelBand Nike+ SportWatch
  33. 33. WHAT The problems we solve 1. Are we clear about the primary way our firm creates value for our clients? 2. Can we articulate a small number capabilities that we do better than anyone else? 3. Have we defined how they work together in a system? Essential questions regarding your “What.”
  34. 34. WHO The markets we serve
  35. 35. WHO The markets we serve
  36. 36. WHO The markets we serve
  37. 37. WHO The markets we serve
  38. 38. WAY The approach we take
  39. 39. WAY The approach we take
  40. 40. WAY The approach we take
  41. 41. WAY The approach we take
  42. 42. WAY The approach we take
  43. 43. WAY The approach we take
  44. 44. WAY The approach we take
  45. 45. SOURCES OF DIFFERENTIATION How you solve. How you produce. How you collaborate. How you deliver. How you serve. How you price. How you manage. How you look. How you promote. WAY The approach we take
  46. 46. WHY The purpose we pursue
  47. 47. “Increasing firm revenues from $30.2 to $30.7 million might be a useful target, but it is not a motivating purpose.” SCOTT ANTHONY Resolve to Make Your Business Human Again WHY The purpose we pursue
  48. 48. WHY The purpose we pursue
  49. 49. The vast majority of best-performing companies have explicit, non-negotiatable principles that are understood and followed across the organization. CHRIS ZOOK & JAMES ALLEN The Great Repeatable Business Model WHY The purpose we pursue
  50. 50. Your statement of purpose. The reason your firm exists beyond making money. Your credo. Your non-negotiable principles. Your rules of engagement. WHY The purpose we pursue WHY =
  51. 51. Putting it all together.
  52. 52. For (WHO) _________________________________________ We (WHAT) _________________________________________ By (HOW) _________________________________________ Because (WHY) ________________________________________
  53. 53. For (WHO) technology and life sciences companies We (WHAT) help protect their intellectual property and financial future By (HOW) coupling deep industry expertise with state-of-the-art project management Because (WHY) we believe in the power of technology to transform the world
  54. 54. Positioning Brief SETTING What are the main dynamics of the current environment in which our firm competes (considering both direct and indirect forms of competition)? CONSTRAINTS In creating a unique story about our firm, what are the primary challenges or obstacles we must overcome? OUTCOMES What outcomes or results are we trying to produce with our positioning strategy? POSITIONING What is the specific position we’re attempting to occupy in the marketplace? Describe this strategy as: “For (Who), we (What) by (How) because (Why).” Who = The specific type of client we are targeting (inspired by categories, audiences, types of brands, etc.) What = The unique solutions or benefits we provide to these clients How = The distinctive way in which we deliver the above (inspired by philosophies, methods, etc.) Why = The underlying motivation for what we do; our purpose as a business SUPPORTING IDEAS For each of the major dimensions of our strategy, what can we can we offer as proof points, examples, or supporting ideas? AUDIENCE PERSONA Based on the target market defined in our positioning above, what are the key characteristics of this audience? THEME What kind of themes could we use to describe our positioning strategy? What type of language or symbols could help bring it to life? Putting it all together The Positioning Brief
  55. 55. Once upon a time there was (description of your target client) Every day she (the problem your client is trying to solve or job to be done) One day we developed (the solution you have to your client’s problem) Until finally (the end result for your client) Your strategy as a story.
  56. 56. Some tools and thought starters.
  57. 57. DIVERGE Create choices CONVERGE Make choices
  58. 58. A High Interest / Low Expertise B High Interest / High Expertise C Low Interest / Low Expertise D Low Interest / High Expertise Interest Expertise Evaluating interest vs. expertise.
  59. 59. AUTHENTIC ASPIRATIONAL WHAT we do WHO we do it for WAY we do it WHY we do it Identifying what’s authentic vs. what’s aspirational.
  60. 60. How your strategy should guide client selection.
  61. 61. ① Does it allow for clear identification of target prospects? ② Does it help us say no to the wrong prospects? ③ Does it help expand our geographical footprint?   ④ Does it create strong barriers to entry?   ⑤ Does it result in fewer competitors?   ⑥ Does it allow us to charge higher fees?   ⑦ Does it make our business development cycle shorter and less expensive?   Validating your strategy.
  62. 62. Bringing your strategy to life in all key areas of your firm.
  63. 63. A 100+ person independent marketing firm in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  64. 64. A marketing innovation firm that specializes in brands that elevate the style, comfort and function of the American home. A new, focused positioning strategy.
  65. 65. Services and solutions that support the strategy
  66. 66. PROFILE • Small, often family-owned firms; 2–10 emplo • 34–64 years old • Average company age is 13 years • Predominately uses own crew but will hire subcontractors • Main decision-maker on projects – Contractors are highly influential with homeowners regarding materials and bran – In repair and remodeling, contractors prima influence decisions regarding brand/ manufacturer and trim materials INFLUENCERS • Building Materials Distributor • Manufacturer sales rep A skilled and experienced craftsman and small business owner, he takes pride in his work. Qual dependability, timelines and efficiency are key fac to maintaining a good reputation, so the products chooses must help him consistently deliver. JOURNEY DESIRED BEHAVIOR Be aware of company AWARE MINDSETS & MOTIVATORS • Time-starved problem-solvers • Low recognition of brands made by Ply Gem: • Future Success Attributes Georgia Pacific highest at 23% – Doing the best work • Ply Gem most known as a window manufacturer – Visibility and reputation (56%); less so for exterior cladding and trim, doors, – Effective management of the right employees roofing, decking and stone (34% or less) • Convenience of dealer/distributor is a high priority; • Generally strong brand ratings for Ply Gem brands distributor relationship trumps brand (7.78 to 9.0 on 10-point scale) ity, • Come to trust certain brands and suppliers; can be tors hesitant to switch he • Top window and siding brand selection factors – Dependable, quality, long-lasting products – Brand you can trust “Homeowners do their research before a project, – Trusted customer service so they come to their project educated, but • Energy-saving and non-toxic materials are of maybe not opinionated. They always ask our opinion on products and brands.” yees increasing interest - Remodeling Contractor • Pro awareness of Ply Gem brands is low: – Windows: Ply Gem and Simonton <22% – Siding: Mastic 28%; Ply Gem 24% MEDIA & RESOURCES ds rily Top info sources Most trusted sources • Search engines • Email newsletters SOCIAL • Industry print MEDIA • Manufacturer website DEALER/ MANUFACTURER INDUSTRY IN-PERSON DISTRIBUTOR SALES MATERIALS PRINT CONFERENCES Source: Hanley Wood Media Consumption, Builders RESEARCH PURCHASE PREFER Associate desirable traits Choose/purchase Positive experience/expand relationship Contractor-Remodeler Persona Production Builder Persona MINDSETS & MOTIVATIONS MEDIA & RESOURCES PROFILE • 35 – 54 years old; mostly male • Manager at top national and regional home builders (i.e. D.R. Horton, Lennar, Pulte, Toll Brothers, etc.) • Earns $75k – $150k/year • Generally operate within clearly define niches (starter, move-up, luxury) • Primarily influence decisions regarding materials, brand/manufacturer and trim materials INFLUENCERS • Inside Designer • Manufacturer sales rep Managers at large national builders whose job is to position their business to respond to changing consumer and market trends, to deliver value to homeowners and achieve sales and profitperformance. • Larger, national firms procurement driven; seek stability, best price and distribution capabilities • Smaller, regional firms often require more marketing and merchandising support • Advanced/new product features, different housing types and quality are reasons to try new brands • Responding to high consumer expectations with design, energy efficiency and technology • Proficient with computers and technology for business and personal use – Heavy users; Excel, PPT, account software – 6 to 14+ hrs. at computer/internet • Pro awareness of Ply Gem brands is low: – Windows: Ply Gem and Simonton <22% – Siding: Mastic 28%; Ply Gem 24% • Low recognition of brands made by Ply Gem: Georgia Pacific highest at 23% • Ply Gem most known as a window manufacturer (56%); less so for exterior cladding & trim, doors, roofing, decking and stone (34% or less) • Generally strong brand ratings for Ply Gem brands (7.78 to 9.0 on 10-point scale) IN-PERSON CONFERENCES Top info sources • Search engines • Email newsletters • Industry print • Manufacturer website Most trusted sources Source: Hanley Wood Media Consumption, Builders MANUFACTURER SALESMATERIALS INDUSTRY PRINT PEERS JOURNEY DESIREDBEHAVIOR Be aware of company Associate desirable traits Choose/purchase REPEATAWARE RESEARCH PURCHASE Positive experience/expand relationship “With builders, you need to get the purchasing —the pricing decision—and the designers simultaneously because they workhand-in-hand. We work together.” - National Single Family Builder SOCIAL MEDIA New solution sets that deliver the strategy.
  67. 67. Hom LUXURY NE Remodel· AtAGlan HOME IMPROVEME GROWTH HORIZON Source 1-brdeyWood/Re, ling( TOP COST VS. VALU '8Entry Door Repla e anufacured Ston GarageDoorRep Otherprojects incllide attic Source·TheFamswol1hGroupw h Home I AMERICANS PLAN 30% 'ntetior pain 25% andscaping 14% new windO 13% ex erior pai TOP 5 MOST POPU Bathroom remodel or Kitchen remodel or addi Floonng Pat10orl d capo doorsWi dows01 Som - H JZZ Key Influ CONTRACTORS, RE 640,00 contrac•or rms in 68% , brand REASONSFOR WIWNGNESS Advanced or newprodu Green/sustainablefeatl.Xe POPULATION Home I AGING HOUSING • 1150 QQ<Q 760,000 oinglefamily+l7¼ ' ' 390 000 Totalhousing starts +I5%1 Multi ;mity+10% 0 5,630,000( 510,000 6 5 ; 00 Total housingsales+5%1 isting 4% Housing/Non-Residential Construction AtAGlance 2015 RESIDENTIAL PROJECTIONS NON-RESIDENTIAL CO FORECAST New research initiatives to further deepen the firm’s expertise.
  68. 68. CII t;,t t .,,_ C http .w yward.co /'wort< -w w w Blot I .IUft 22. 201, Whe. Do deas Come F om? Ge ng toFORMatJO Dope I J"" 11, 201t I nI, 2011 ·sPr ty Consumer. B a Ben e frornF. esse ge ... Rela boo nshps Ho Cen I II. 1011 , .. 2011 Home - - - - . . , --' -- A body of work focused on the new strategic direction.
  69. 69. Staff development and talent management that supports the strategy
  70. 70. New organizational structure that supports the strategy.
  71. 71. Supporting causes that align with the strategy.
  72. 72. Self-promotion and business development that support the strategy
  73. 73. New marketing materials that effective promote the new strategy.
  74. 74. Thought leadership strategy that showcases the strategy.
  75. 75. Systems and processes that support the strategy
  76. 76. New internal processes that optimize the success of the strategy.
  77. 77. Staging and resources that support the strategy
  78. 78. e Redesigned space that showcases the strategy.
  79. 79. A transformed client base that aligns with the strategy. BEFORE AFTER
  80. 80. An expanded geographical client base as a result of the new strategy. BEFORE AFTER
  81. 81. Dealing effectively with the complexities of the external market. By minimizing the complexities of your internal business model. “T” shaped business model A business model that proves its success.
  82. 82. “Not better than the competition, but different from the competition.” ADAM MORGAN AND MARK BARDEN
  83. 83. TWilliams@IgnitionGroup.com @TimWilliamsICG linkedin.com/in/TimWilliamsICG Positioning for Professionals Available at www.wiley.com
  • HuynAnhPhan2

    Oct. 6, 2020
  • HuyenAnhPhan

    Oct. 6, 2020

An exploration of key positioning strategy principles, presented by Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group.

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