September 2011

What Can Ted Nugent Teach You About Personal Branding?

by Paul Simister on September 30, 2011

I adore classic rock music from the late sixties and the seventies and Ted Nugent is one of the stars that burst onto the scenes in the mid seventies when I started liking my music loud and heavy. Differentiation By Who Although I’m currently working with a young soul singer in the UK who has […]

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The Irresistible Promise

by Paul Simister on September 29, 2011

The Irresistible Promise is step 2 of my six step profit formula. The Irresistible Promise Is An Update On The USP Once you’ve found your starving crowd, you need to make it an offer that is compelling. Mark Joyner calls it an Irresistible Offer. Theory of Constraints call it a Mafia Offer (an offer you […]

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The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

by Paul Simister on September 28, 2011

“The Art of Profitability” by Adrian Slywotzky is a fascinating book which reveals twenty three different business models which an entrepreneur can use to build a profitable business. What Is A Business Model? A business model is the way your business creates value for customers and captures its fair share as profit. The best business […]

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The Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix

by Paul Simister on September 27, 2011

When I was reading Business Innovation For Dummies by Alexander Hiam, I came across the Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix. I think it’s a powerful way to think about differentiation in your product mix. What Is The Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix? It is a 2 x 2 matrix (much loved by strategy consultants of course) with uniqueness on […]

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Hypercompetition by Richard D’Aveni

by Paul Simister on September 26, 2011

Hypercompetition : Managing the Dynamics Of Strategic Maneuvering by Richard D’Aveni is a book I’ve wanted to read for many years and finally, earlier this year I did. Although it dates back to 1994 I’m very impressed about its ideas on strategy dynamics. Hypercompetition Review The view of business strategy presented in Hypercompetition by Richard […]

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Using the concept of the industry value chain analysis is an important part of gaining an appreciation for the wider competitive factors that can impact on your business. Background To The Industry Value Chain Or Value System The idea of the value chain was introduced in the classic strategy book Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter […]

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Amazon Strategy & The Six Step Profit Formula

by Paul Simister on September 24, 2011

I love Amazon and it’s very useful to look at the Amazon strategy in relation to my Six Step Profit Formula. Summary Of The Six Step Profit Formula The six steps in the profit formula are: Find a starving crowd. . Create an irresistible promise. . Get your irresistible promise in front of the eyes […]

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Value Disciplines & Differentiation

by Paul Simister on September 23, 2011

The value disciplines are an interesting extension to Michael Porter’s generic strategies for competitive advantage. The Origin Of The Value Disciplines The value disciplines have been developed and promoted by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in a famous Harvard Business Review article “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines” and in their book “The Discipline Of […]

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The Six Step Profit Formula

by Paul Simister on September 22, 2011

  The Six Step Profit Formula is my high level reminder of what you are trying to achieve with your strategic planning and analysis and provides the connection between strategy and tactics. It can also be used as: A guide when you are starting your business to make sure that you’ve covered the basics. . […]

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Maserati Kubang : Is This A Branding Mistake?

by Paul Simister on September 20, 2011

I love Italy, I’m fascinated by cars so it’s no surprise that I feel a huge attraction towards Maserati but the new Maserati Kubang looks like a branding mistake to me. Fiat have done a great job in reviving the Maserati brand after the dark days in the eighties. I fear the Kubang is a […]

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Balanced Scorecard As A Performance Measurement System

by Paul Simister on September 20, 2011

The Balanced Scorecard is the most famous of the performance measurement systems that can be used to implement and monitor a new strategy or group. What Is The Balanced Scorecard The Balanced Scorecard is a short summary report of the key performance measures of a business, both financial and non-financial. It tells the story of […]

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Core Competence & Its Role In Differentiation

by Paul Simister on September 18, 2011

In this article I will look at the idea of core competence as developed by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel in their classic Harvard Business Review article The Core Competence of the Corporation and their book, Competing For The Future. Core Competence & Resource Based Strategy Very important work was done in the early nineties […]

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Business Strategy Blog – Differentiate Your Business

by Paul Simister on September 17, 2011

If you read my blog on RSS feed you may be wondering whether my differentiation strategy blog is turning into a general business strategy blog. Let me explain. Differentiate Your Business Is A Business Strategy Blog I believe that differentiation and the fight against the competitive forces that create commodities is THE most important business […]

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The full title of this book is “Simplified Strategic Planning : A No Nonsense Guide For Busy People Who Want Results Fast” written by Robert W Bradford and L Peter Duncan with Brian Tarcy. It captures the approach of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning. In my opinion it is a very good guide for […]

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What If All Rock Bands Sounded Like Led Zeppelin?

by Paul Simister on September 15, 2011

While Led Zeppelin aren’t my favourite rock band from the 1970s, they are such an archetypal group and widely copied. Let’s take a look at what made Led Zeppelin special and wonder what it would be like if more Led Zeppelin soundalikes had made it big.

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The Benefits Of Strategic Planning

by Paul Simister on September 14, 2011

I’ve been writing about differentiation in particular and strategic planning in general and I’ve just realised that I’ve not gone through the benefits of strategic planning. I’m planning to fill that oversight now.

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GXG Markets UK – Closing the Finance Gap

by Paul Simister on September 14, 2011

I was interested to hear about the launch of GXG Markets UK this morning which I thought was a great example of finding and filling a gap in a market. What is GXG Markets UK? GXG Markets offer a three tier London based equity market for small and medium sized businesses. GXG Regulated Market GXG […]

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PEST Analysis – The Way To Understand The Wider Environment

by Paul Simister on September 14, 2011

I’ve mentioned PEST analysis several times in passing in this blog so it’s probably about time I explained more about the importance of understanding changes in the wider economic environment. What is PEST Analysis? PEST stands for: Political changes Economic changes Social & Demographic changes Technological changes It is a very easy acronym to remember […]

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Business Health Check – Your Strategic Snapshot For SME’s

by Paul Simister on September 13, 2011

A business health check is a chance to stand back and look at your business with fresh eyes as it looks at many different aspects of your current business performance and the factors that determine future business performance. Why You Need A Business Health Check As the owner of a small business and a coach […]

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Scenario Planning Techniques Are More Important Than Ever

by Paul Simister on September 12, 2011

A few years ago I believed that scenario planning techniques were too complicated and time consuming for many small businesses to focus on. I saw scenario planning as a strategic planning tool for big companies but small and medium sized businesses were better off putting together their plan on most likely assumptions and then get […]

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Housebites : A Different Kind Of Takeaway Food Service

by Paul Simister on September 12, 2011

Saturday night is takeaway night in our house so I was very interested to hear about Housebites, a new deluxe takeaway food service which is about to burst onto the scenes today 12 September 2011. The Problem With Traditional Takeaway Food Takeaway food is usually easy to order and often quite cheap but it’s often […]

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I want to tell you about Naturetrek, a specialist birdwatching and wildlife holiday company that is based in the UK but provides amazing wildlife adventure holidays around the world. The Theory & Practice Of Differentiating Your Business My blog shares plenty of the theory about differentiating a business but it’s nice to see the concepts […]

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Defensive Strategy in Marketing & Business

by Paul Simister on September 9, 2011

It’s important to recognise when a defensive strategy is the sensible approach in marketing and business. I use the SPACE analysis matrix to help ground management’s natural desire for growth and profit improvement and put it into perspective of the realities of the existing situation. Defensive Strategy In SPACE A defensive strategy is recommended by […]

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Competing For The Future by Gary Hamel & CK Prahalad

by Paul Simister on September 7, 2011

Competing For The Future : Breakthrough Strategies For Seizing Control Of Your Industry And Creating The Markets Of Tomorrow by Gary Hamel and CK Prahalad is an important book in the history of strategy. It popularised the important insights and ideas that came out of resource based strategy in the early nineties because it’s one […]

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Does Your Marketing Dazzle Like A Zebra?

by Paul Simister on September 6, 2011

If your marketing dazzles like a zebra, then potentially you’ve got a big problem. Let me explain. On its own, a zebra is a beautiful creature unlike anything else. You can think of it as a stripy horse but smaller.

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Strategy Quotes & Quotations

by Paul Simister on September 6, 2011

I have a weakness for quotes so I thought I’d start building up a list of my favourite strategy quotes and quotations. I’ve split these into two categories – those strategy quotes that support strategic planning and those that take more of a negative view about strategy and planning. Positive Strategy Quotes

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Ansoff Growth Matrix – Four Ways To Grow A Business

by Paul Simister on September 5, 2011

The Ansoff Growth Matrix is also known as the Ansoff Product-Market Growth matrix or the Four Ways To Grow A Business model. This is not to be confused with the Three Ways To Grow A Business model from marketing consultant Jay Abraham which is another, more tactical way to think through business growth issues. It […]

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Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

by Paul Simister on September 3, 2011

Blue Ocean Strategy : How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is a must-read book for anyone interested in business strategy, customer value and innovation. The book has been brilliantly conceived and marketed and it starts with the powerful metaphor. Blue Ocean Strategy vs […]

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McKinsey 7 S Framework For Strategic Fit

by Paul Simister on September 2, 2011

The McKinsey 7 S framework or model for strategic fit was developed over thirty years ago by strategy consultants McKinsey and in particular Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, co-authors of the classic book “In Search of Excellence” to help implement strategies. What Is The McKinsey 7 S Framework?

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Value Chain Video

by Paul Simister on September 2, 2011

I thought about putting together my own introduction to the value chain video and then I found these value chain videos from Professor Andrew Fearne which I thought were very well done. These focus on the industry value chain rather than the business value chain. Who Is Andrew Fearne? Andrew Fearne is Professor of Food […]

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