Chapter 1. When Prior Strengths Become Your Weaknesses

Recently, I stood in a boardroom and spoke with the top-tier executives of a major automobile manufacturer famous for its brand and renown for engineering and product excellence.[1] The brand had enjoyed a loyal following for decades, but it was now losing market share, and in the U.S. customer defection was nearly 70 percent. In other words, for every ten U.S. customers who bought their cars, approximately seven would defect—only three would return to buy again. To understand this trend, my consulting team had conducted extensive interviews at their headquarters, as well as workshops with dealers (their distribution channel), and focus groups with their customers and former customers. It ...

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