Strategy Is Prioritization

I’m a big fan of strategy. I claim it as one of my strengths, though I am guilty of misusing the term. Granted, it has a broad meaning, but at its core, strategy is about prioritization.

I’ll use an easy example: cupcakes. When cupcakes became the biggest dessert phenomenon of the early 2000s, I wondered what could possibly be so special about a cupcake to garner all of that attention. As it turns out, there are a lot of ways to differentiate a cupcake:

  • Focus on convenience: I admit to having a fondness for the cupcakes of the ’80s—Little Debbie’s, Hostess, Tastykake. The companies that produce them focus on packaging and broad distribution to grocery and convenience stores; their cupcakes remain “fresh,” despite having a long shelf life. High quality, however, is not the aim of these companies.
  • Focus on premium ingredients: Most cupcake shops in New York feature baked goods that are delicious because they are made with the best ingredients. Affordability is not a factor here, and neither is shelf life. These treats sell out before the end of the day, every day—and they don’t last long in the buyers’ hands, either.
  • Focus on creative ingredients: Cupcakes are the new Dairy Queen Blizzards. How about a cookie dough cupcake with the dough in the middle and cookie crumbles on top of the creamy icing? A peanut-butter-and-jelly cupcake? Or even a maple bacon cupcake?
  • Focus on healthy ingredients: Gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free (substituting agave syrup) cupcakes? ...

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