Ever since Morton's put a little girl in a yellow slicker and declared, “When it rains, it pours,” no advertising person worth his or her salt has had any excuse to think of a product as having parity with anything.
—Malcolm MacDougal, Jordan Case McGrath & Taylor
If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.
—Jack Welch, GE
You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
A business strategy, as defined in Chapter 1, involves four components—the product-market investment decision, the customer value proposition, the organization's assets and competencies, and functional strategies and programs. For a given industry and organizational context, a strategist will have uncountable ways to compete. Alternative markets, submarkets, product extensions, and new product arenas can always be considered. A bewildering variety of customer value propositions, each with its own nuances and spins, will represent strategy variants. Hundreds of conceivable assets and competencies can be developed, nurtured, exploited, and combined, and there are potentially thousands of viable functional strategies and programs.
Usually, however, business strategies cluster around a limited number of value propositions for a product market, supported by assets and competencies and functional strategies and programs. These value propositions include a superior attribute or benefit (BMW's drivability), appealing design (Apple's ...