October 2011

I introduced the concept of order winners and order qualifiers in my article on key success factors and now I want to delve into this important topic in more detail. Order Winners, Orders Qualifiers & Customer Value Customers make their purchasing decision emotionally and logically on a perception of customer value for money.The unconscious mind […]

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Developing Business Strategies by David Aaker

by Paul Simister on October 30, 2011

Developing Business Strategies by David A. Aacker is written to help managers to develop strategies that will help their businesses to compete more effectively and perform better. Developing Business Strategies Review Who Is Developing Business Strategies Written For? Many of the strategy books I review on my blog are: for academics and MBA students strategy […]

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The Misery Index & The Impact On Business

by Paul Simister on October 29, 2011

The Misery Index is a term which is gaining popularity in the press as economic problems and social unrest increase in 2011. What is The Misery Index? The misery index is a composite measure made up of two important measures of economic activity:

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Your Business Success Story

by Paul Simister on October 27, 2011

I am looking for entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses to interview about their business success story and how they have differentiated their business from competitors. Whilst it is useful to hold up Starbucks, Apple and Google as examples of businesses who have created a special product or service which inspires great customer loyalty and […]

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Economies Of Scale & Minimum Efficient Scale

by Paul Simister on October 27, 2011

Today I want to step away from differentiation and look at the cost side of strategy and in particular the impact that economies of scale can have on an industry and how, in some markets, size really does matter in business strategy. Background To Business Strategy I have looked at what is strategy and why […]

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Customer Value Performance Matrix

by Paul Simister on October 25, 2011

I learnt about the Customer Value Performance Matrix from reading Customer Power by David Swaddling and Charles Miller which they called the Customer Perceived Value Performance Matrix. It is another 2 x 2 matrix – like the Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix – that I find myself wondering “why didn’t I think of this?”

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Conservative Strategy In The SPACE Matrix

by Paul Simister on October 22, 2011

The SPACE Matrix or more formally, the Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix recommends one of four basic strategic approaches for a business and today I’m going to focus on the Conservative Strategy dimension. This is when the business is in a good position in  its financial strength and environmental stability but its market offers […]

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Profit Patterns by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison

by Paul Simister on October 21, 2011

Profit Patterns : 30 Ways to Anticipate and Profit from Strategic Forces Reshaping Your Business by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison, Ted Moser, Kevin Mundt, James Quella is a very interesting book which explains dynamics in strategy. Review of Profit Patterns Profit Patterns begins with the interesting metaphor of business strategy is like Picasso’s paintings.

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“The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably” by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden is widely recognised as the world’s best pricing book. Pricing is where your strategy is either tested and proven or fails. It is very much where the rubber meets the road. Review of The Strategy And Tactics […]

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The New 7 S Model

by Paul Simister on October 16, 2011

Richard D’Aveni argues that in Hypercompetition, the opposition can use the old 7-s framework against the firm because it makes the business predictable so he came up with the new 7 S model. The New 7 S

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Creating Value by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon

by Paul Simister on October 14, 2011

Creating Value :  Shaping Tomorrow’s Business Today by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon could be the best strategy book you’ve never heard of. It’s a fiercely original intellectual work which will challenge many of the traditional ways of thinking about business strategy. Review of Creating Value by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon Unfortunately both authors […]

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Blue Zebra Strategy – What’s In A Name & Image?

by Paul Simister on October 13, 2011

“I like your new blog, I think of it as blue zebra strategy” someone emailed me yesterday. I can see that other people will also think of my blog as the blue zebra strategy blog and a quick search of the Internet shows that I’m not found for “blue zebra strategy”. That’s a problem which […]

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Aggressive Or Offensive Strategy In Business & Marketing

by Paul Simister on October 13, 2011

Effective strategy is a mixture of defensive strategy and aggressive strategy / offensive strategy to help a business to protect what it’s got and then to make gains in a competitive market. Use The SPACE Matrix To Check If An Aggressive Strategy is Appropriate The Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix (SPACE Matrix) is a […]

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I’m ending my look at Michael Porter’s Five Forces Analysis with a look at competitive rivalry, perhaps the most powerful and destructive of the five forces as competitors carelessly compete away any profits and even create price wars that cause long term damage to industry profitability. Competitive Rivalry Or Rivalry Amongst Existing Firms Michael Porter […]

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Small Business Strategic Planning

by Paul Simister on October 12, 2011

Small business strategic planning is a cut down version of the strategic planning techniques used by big businesses to help improve competitiveness. It’s that last word that is the key. Strategic planning is about helping you to improve the way you win profitable business from customers instead it going to your competitors. It’s Even More […]

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When you are thinking about business strategy it is important to focus on the business competition and the different levels of competitions. The 5 C”s Model of Competition is a very useful framework for assessing the level of competitive intensity in your market and thinking about the opportunities and threats that competition presents. It is […]

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Bargaining Power Of Suppliers : Uses & Abuses

by Paul Simister on October 11, 2011

The bargaining power of suppliers and vendors is one of the Five Forces that Michael Porter identified that determine industry structure and attractiveness. In many ways the bargaining power of suppliers is the same as the bargaining power of customers but seen from the other party’s perspective. Powerful suppliers in the industry value chain can […]

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Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant

by Paul Simister on October 10, 2011

I was lucky because Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant was the core text book for my MBA strategy module at the Manchester Business School. I was in Waterstones yesterday and it still looks the best of the strategy text books to me. Its big rival was Exploring Corporate Strategy but I think this is […]

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Threat of Substitutes In Porter’s Five Forces Model

by Paul Simister on October 9, 2011

The threat of substitutes is an important element in the Five Forces Analysis model introduced by Michael Porter in his book Competitive Strategy. The issue of the threat of substitutes is always a factor which limits the profit potential of a market. In times of economic difficulties, the threat accelerates sharply but it also represents […]

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Grom Ice Cream – Is It The Best?

by Paul Simister on October 8, 2011

I have just come back from a week’s holiday in one of my favourite places, Viareggio on the Tuscany coat in Italy and I discovered Grom ice cream. And what a discovery it represents because I had some of the best ice cream ever. Rich, creamy and full of flavour.

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Bargaining Power Of Buyers Or Customers

by Paul Simister on October 8, 2011

The bargaining power of buyers or customers is one of the five forces that determine industry profitability in Michael Porter‘s Five Forces Analysis model explained in his book Competitive Strategy. The basic idea is that by using their  bargaining power as a powerful buyer, some customers can capture a high proportion of the value you […]

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Competitive Strategy In The SPACE Matrix

by Paul Simister on October 7, 2011

The SPACE Matrix or more formally, the Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix recommends one of four basic strategic approaches for a business and today I’m going to focus on the Competitive Strategy dimension. This is when the business is in a good position in its marketplace but its financial strength is insufficient to compensate […]

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Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman

by Paul Simister on October 6, 2011

Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman is a book for managers who contribute to the strategy debates going on within their businesses. This makes it very different from many of the strategy texts which are either written for the MBA market or for strategy experts. Who Is Cliff Bowman? Cliff Bowman is Professor of Strategic […]

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Why Is Strategy Important ?

by Paul Simister on October 5, 2011

Have you ever asked yourself “Why Is Strategy Important ?” What Is Strategy And Why Is Strategy Important? I recently wrote about “What Is Strategy?” The business strategy of a company provides the big picture that shows how all the individual activities are coordinated to achieve a desired end result. It is through the strategy […]

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Barriers To Entry & The Threat Of New Entrants

by Paul Simister on October 5, 2011

Today we will look at how you can use barriers to entry to reduce the threat of new entrants into your market. The threat of new entrants is one of the forces in Michael Porter’s Five Forces model of industry analysis. This threat applies to any business of any size, big or small. It can […]

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Impact Of Tax On Business

by Paul Simister on October 4, 2011

As part of helping you to apply PEST Analysis for scenario planning I want to examine the impact of tax on business. First a disclaimer. Although I’m a chartered accountant I know next to nothing about tax and this article in written from a UK perspective although I expect its lessons for strategy purposes will […]

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Five Forces Analysis – Michael Porter

by Paul Simister on October 3, 2011

In my guide to strategic planning models I described Michael Porter’s Five Forces Analysis as probably the most famous of the strategy models but until now, I haven’t written about it in detail on my blog. Background To The Five Forces Analysis Model The Five Forces Analysis model was first introduced in the Harvard Business […]

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What is Strategy ?

by Paul Simister on October 2, 2011

“What is strategy?” seems such an easy question to answer because you hear the words “strategy” and “strategic” banded around like confetti. But the “What is strategy” question hides a problem. What Is Strategy? People often decide that they need to work on their business strategy before really understanding what strategy is. And doing something […]

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The Profit Zone by Adrian Slywotzky & David Morrison

by Paul Simister on October 2, 2011

The Profit Zone : How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits by Adrian J. Slywotzky and David J. Morrison is a fascinating look at the power of business models to determine the success of a business. The Profit Zone Review The authors, Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison argue that the traditional sources […]

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