Are you finding yourself or your company competing more and more frequently on price? Are your customers questioning the benefits they get for the price they pay? Are your margins eroding on new business that comes in?
If so, your brand or business is probably getting weaker. Businesses that have to compete more and more on price are usually the ones that have failed to innovate or invest in their business for a period of time.
As a result, the customer has started to question the perceived value and look elsewhere for secondary sources of the same product or service but at a lower price. This is usually the first step in the journey of a product or service becoming ‘commoditized’ due to increased competition and low levels of differentiation. This should be a screaming signal to companies that are faced with this situation to take action before it’s too late. Waiting too long can have broader implications for the company beyond just the one product or service in question.
So how do you respond? Well there are a few things that you can do.
1. Talk to your customers. Do some research and ask questions about the current product or service to gauge perceptions. What do you customers think? What are the product weaknesses? What can you do to improve overall service quality or product performance? What problems are your customers having that the product or service isn’t solving?
2. Do some competitive analysis. Identify your competitors strengths and weaknesses. Look for areas that can be exploited. Every competitor has a weakness, you just have to find it. Make sure you have a clear and compelling story about how your product or service is better or different. Sell the benefits not the features.
3. Start your innovation engine up. Most companies have poorly organized innovation efforts. Yours could be suffering from a number of different problems. You might be good at idea generation but bad at execution or vice versa, whatever the challenge is you need to get going on innovation. Get some help if you need it and get organized. Successful innovation is a disciplined process that requires ongoing commitment from the entire organization.
4. Develop a strategic plan. Make sure you have a set of business objectives and a clear set of key strategic priorities for the company. Often the best time to step back and look at where you are where you want to take the business is when things are running smoothly. Investing early in new ideas will produce benefits when you need them down the road. Plan for profitable new business don’t wait for it to happen.
If you’re not sure how to get going then contact us today and we’d be happy to discuss your business needs.
Strategy without tactics is a slow route to victory but tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat (Sun Tsu)