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Listen to your customers, discover new opportunities, and analyze the competitive landscape. Strategically position your company for sustainable and profitable growth and create winning go-to-market strategies.
Develop & execute competitive strategies to enter new markets, develop new products, grow market share. In times of recession all organisations need to focus on their customer needs, and everyone is looking to maximise the return they can get from budgets that are under increasing pressure.
The principle of evaluating your organisation’s performance against competitors is an important one though. In our on-going survey benchmarking organisations on their use of customer measurement, a huge proportion of companies reported that they collected customer feedback on competitor’s performance.
Blue Ocean strategy has Value Innovation as a key cornerstone of its approach with the need to identify value and the drivers of value as building blocks for identifying market opportunities. A key tool within Blue Ocean strategy is the Strategy Canvas where performance of key competitors is recorded against key drivers of value. Utilising data captured through customer feedback programmes and applying Customer Value Management approaches we have developed a Value Map for the office stationery market. Each company is rated by customers on the Price and Quality and the relative scores for each company are plotted out on the X and Y axis.
The company that appears furthest into the bottom right hand corner is providing a relatively high quality offering, at a relatively competitive price. Those appearing in the top left hand corner are in the weakest market position offering relatively poor quality at an uncompetitively high price. As an exercise we often find that there is great uniformity on our clients’ own organisation’s position, but the different views between functions tend to be revealed when plotting competitors.
Having identified your own position, according to customer perception, and where you want to be, you can start developing a customer strategy that lays out how you’re going to get there. Corporate Scorecards are a valuable tool in terms of tracking progress along your customer strategy journey.
As long as an organisation’s customer feedback programme is collecting customer perceptions about both its own performance and that of its competitors, utilising this for input into a customer focussed corporate strategy is not only valuable, it ensures that the impact of investment in this area is maximised.
The battle for leadership in the $1.5 billion music retail industry has led to brutal competition since HMV entered the arena. The Canadian music retailing industry has experienced dramatic changes in the past few years-the shift from records to CDs and cassettes, the dramatic increase in video and computer software sales, the changing demographics-yet many retailers sell their product with little innovative marketing or customer service. Location-many stores are located in upscale shopping centres across Canada on very favourable terms (shopping centre developers are keen to have HMV with many retailers falling into bankruptcy). Atmosphere-from the displays, to banks of video screens, to "listening posts" where customers can play the latest hits, to in-store concerts, HMV provides a new experience for shoppers. Customer service-from the helpful, knowledgeable staff who are rewarded, in part, based on the store's performance. Selection-a wide and targeted selection provided by the staff, many of whom "run" a part of the store and decide what titles to carry in their particular section.
Prices-on average higher than other chains like Sam's because HMV decided that customers would be willing to pay something extra in terms of helpful staff and a broad selection.

The strategy has led to greater sales and profit increases for HMV than for any other music retailer in the industry. The success of any strategy depends on how the retailer implements its plan and meets the needs of customers. Strategic planning includes defining the overall mission or purpose of the company, deciding on objectives that management wants to achieve, and developing a plan to achieve these objectives. Management begins the planning process by identifying the organization's mission or purpose.
What products and services will be offered, what customers will be served, and what geographic areas will be covered. How the physical assets, financial assets, and human resources will be used to create customer satisfaction. Mark's Work Wearhouse provides quality name brand, private, and captive label products competitively priced and supported by active sales promotion. Being the most customer-sensitive and responsive specialty retail organization in the markets in which it operates. Having a people-oriented work environment where people are allowed the greatest possible freedom\E to carry out their responsibilities, own what they do, have fun, learn, and earn fair financial rewards.
Providing a superior financial return to investors as a result of being customer driven and people oriented.
Goal: Empire is committed to building shareholder value through long-term profitability and growth by becoming a market leader in its core operating businesses and by investing in opportunities to augment this growth in value. How: Empire will achieve this goal by treating employees in ways that create extraordinary customer service and shareholder value. Value: Empire will be a good corporate citizen, upholding the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct.
Sears Canada is a full-time, full-service department store and catalogue retailer dedicated to providing its customers with quality merchandise and exceptional service, coast to coast.
Canadian Tire's vision, which guides the daily activities and long-term strategy of the enterprise, is to be the best at what customers value most.
Le Chateau is a vertically integrated retailer of the latest fashion apparel at moderate prices. The Bay's mission is to be Canada's best fashion department store by offering broad, dominant assortments, quality and value, fashion and trend leadership, a high level of customer service, and an unremitting guarantee of performance. Our objective is to increase market share from 15 percent to 18 percent in 1997 by increasing promotional expenditures 15 percent. Our objective is to open three new units by 1997 in each of the following provinces where the chain presently has no units: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. A strategy of market development focusses either on attracting new market segments or completely changing the customer base. McDonald's introduces a new retail format; a limited menu outlet in a high traffic location. After target markets are selected and the necessary resources are obtained, a positioning strategy is developed. Strict quality control procedures and using manufacturers in 40 countries ensures high quality, low costs, and a very good price for customers. Merchandise is displayed to emphasize the deep assortment of colours and is laid out on tables and shelves where it can be easily touched.
Advertising for The Gap has been striking, including the "Individuals of Style" campaign, a series of black-and-white photos of personalities from Miles Davis to k.d. Sales staff receive no commission but constant contests are run to motivate the staff to provide quality service. Are the merchandise lines properly positioned against the competition and in support of the marketing plan? Is a profit analysis possible, including a break-even analysis and analysis of ROI and leverage? Are the pricing policies, including price lines (at, equal to, or above the competition), appropriate for each target market? Does the merchandise information system provide the information needed for key operating decisions?
Is someone in the firm responsible for evaluating environmental trends that can affect the continuing success of the firm?
Are the financial and merchandising ratios of the firm regularly compared to comparable trade statistics?
Is the breadth and intensity of market coverage satisfactory for a firm with branches or multiple outlets? Merlino served as chief experience officer and associate chief of staff at the Cleveland Clinic prior to joining Press Ganey. Baker, MD, executive vice president of healthcare quality evaluation for the Joint Commission, has released a statement to clear up any misunderstandings people may have regarding the organization's standards for pain management.
Terry McAuliffe's latest attempt to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was unsuccessful, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report. Census Bureau has released the results of the latest American Community Survey, including five year's worth of statistics on the social and economic characteristics of even the smallest communities in the nation. Joseph Hoag Health is tackling this public health crisis at one of its sources — the grocery story. Most market research firms are not comfortable working in industrial sectors because it requires an understanding of technical product applications and experience in manufacturing or field environments.
We accomplish this through our expertise in gathering market intelligence, our methodologies for converting this intelligence into actionable insights, and our ability to work with our clients to turn insights into strategy.
So is there an opportunity to get a better return from money invested in gathering customer feedback by linking customers to strategy?
In the vast majority of markets today the customer has a choice on which supplier they choose to give their business to. If you can identify how customers view your performance and that of your competitors against these two primary drivers you will have a strong market positioning statement from which to develop a corporate strategy.
Their resulting profiles show the overall market proposition of each competitor, where they directly compete and where there is differentiation. That company may not be the current market leader but it will be the organisation with the fastest growing market share. On revealing the true picture the discussion that this then generates is of great value in terms of aligning functions and allowing a sharing and development of strategic viewpoints.
Further customer feedback on your performance relative to the competition and the utilisation of driver analysis will provide an invaluable input into your corporate strategy.
If a customer focused strategy is to be delivered, the organisation’s scorecards must provide the dashboard that indicates if the company is travelling in the right direction, at the right speed. In 1991, A&A Records and Tapes filed for bankruptcy (it was reborn and went bankrupt a second time in 1996), Discus Music World went bankrupt, and many independent music retailers went out of business.
Future Shop, the computer and appliance chain, added CDs to its product mix in 1994 and sells the top hits at discount prices. Since he opened HMV in Canada, the president, Paul Alof (who left in 1995) had a goal: to make HMV the number one music retailer in Canada.
In a highly competitive market a well-designed and well-executed strategic plan is essential for survival and growth (See note 1). HMV evaluated the retail music industry in Canada and identified strategies that would allow the firm to prosper and grow.

The mission statement describes what the firm plans to accomplish in the markets in which it will compete for customers it wants to serve. Our stores are easily accessible, one stop retail outlets offering a complete range of workwear, casual wear, and related apparel including custom uniforms.
To achieve the vision, the company's efforts will be dedicated to the mission-to be the first choice for Canadians in automotive, sports, leisure, and home products by providing total customer value through focussed assortments, competitive operations, and customer-driven service. We adapt mainly European designs of clothing, accessories, and footwear for North American men and women. Zellers' goal is to lower the cost of living for ordinary Canadians by dedicating ourselves to providing our customers with exceptional value-everyday. Market development normally involves bolder strategy shifts, more capital, and greater risk than a market penetration strategy.
The basic premise is that if the store concept works in one locale, it should work in another.
Positioning is the design and implementation of a retail mix to create an image of the retailer in the customer's mind relative to its competitors (see note 14). Zellers is positioned to appeal to the budget-minded customer with the assurance of the lowest price. New collections hit the stores about every eight weeks and unpopular designs are marked down and quickly sold off.
He has written a book on how to improve the patient experience and has been published in a number of academic journals.
In that role, he leads the nation's efforts to control health threats from infectious diseases. Lois Capps, RN, of California have introduced legislation pushing to support comprehensive healthcare and mental health services to students at school-based health centers, or SBHCs, across the country. The answer has to be yes, and one of the areas that we find clients are extremely interested in looking at is utilising feedback, not only for identifying areas of operational improvement, but fundamentally developing a customer driven corporate strategy. Knowing how a customer evaluates you compared with the alternatives not only allows you to identify short term operational changes, but also identify longer term direction by linking customers to strategy. This overall programme is called Customer Value Management, which has significant synergy with Blue Ocean strategy in terms of a customer driven corporate strategy.
In the Strategy Canvas example below data has been used from the Skytrax survey of airlines and shows the clear different market positioning between Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair. Key metrics within that scorecard must be focused on the customer experience if a customer-focused strategy is to be delivered. HMV, part of a massive British conglomerate, opened its first Canadian store in 1987, but the intense competition really began with the launching of its flagship Toronto store in 1991.
The goal was accomplished but the continuing challenge for the new president is to remain on top. The strategies will be implemented through pricing, promotion, and physical facility plans in order to accomplish the overall mission of the firm.
Our clientele is predominantly 15 to 30 years of age, although we continue to attract more consumers of all ages.
A positioning map is often used to portray the customer's image and preference for retailers. Based on these consumer perceptions, a particular retailer can reinforce its position or consider repositioning if its current position is unsatisfactory. Excellent values are offered in both national and private-brand merchandise and these are communicated aggressively with frequent advertising in both print and electronic media.
One of the approaches to a customer driven corporate strategy that has received high levels of media coverage over recent years has been Blue Ocean, developed by W.
Our own benchmarking survey shows that companies have to date experienced relatively little success with linking customer feedback with the organisation’s finances.
By the end of 1991, HMV's 51 stores sold more than $100 million in CDs, cassettes, and videos, closing in fast on the market leader, Sam the Record Man, which sold about $135 million in its 140 stores. An analysis of internal strengths and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities is then undertaken to help management decide on the best way to carry out the organization's mission and to achieve its objectives. Our ability to provide unique clothing and respond quickly to upcoming fashion trends is greatly enhanced by our vertical approach to retailing.
Probably one of the most interesting and well-documented franchise expansions was McDonald's Canada's expansion to Moscow.
Frieden made a name for himself in tuberculosis control with the New York City Health Department. Therefore this void is going to create friction between the customers’ experience and the strategic goals which inevitably will include financial targets.
For 1995, HMV's 80 stores sold more than $225 million in CDs, cassettes, videos, and computer software, surpassing Sam the Record Man (now in third place) and Music World with its 110-store chain. The mail-order segment, dominated by Columbia House and BMG Direct, has captured about 25 percent of all record music sales in Canada with the popular "buy one CD, get nine free" type campaigns. In addition to extensive product development, approximately 70 percent of the Company's goods are manufactured in our Canadian production facilities.
With over 1,000 outlets in Canada, in 1995, Tim Horton's has aggressively pursued market expansion. The two dimensions, fashion and assortment, are two criteria that consumers might use in forming images of the stores. Zellers is successful in its competitive retail segment by operating with a very low expense rate.
The average store is 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2) with new stores in excess of 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2).
The overall proposition of Blue Ocean strategy is to move away from a situation where you have to compete directly with your current competitors in current markets with little scope for differentiation (Red Ocean) and identify new markets with no direct competitors (Blue Ocean). Markets in which to compete must be selected, and resources needed to compete must be obtained. The takeover of Tim Horton's by Wendy's will allow more rapid expansion for Wendy's and Tim Horton's as they plan to open a number of combo units (combining both Wendy's and Tim Horton's in one location) in both Canada and the United States (see note 8).
In this example, Sarah's Classics and Fudge's Apparel are close to each other because consumers see them as similar in terms of fashion and assortment. Frieden led a program that rapidly reduced TB, including cases of multidrug-resistant TB, by 80 percent. Although an attractive proposition for many organisations, in a recession are companies focused on the short term and ensuring they can compete and survive for the next few weeks and months rather than investing in new markets?
A positioning strategy outlines how the organization will serve the needs of chosen markets. Perhaps using customer feedback to develop a customer strategy could help maximise the opportunity whilst optimising the return from current investments?
An important aspect of the positioning strategy is determining how the retailer will develop and exploit its competitive advantage. Frieden continues to be a vocal public figure as the CDC addresses the potential threat of the Zika virus to U.S.

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