Four generic business strategies exist in the modern business environment:
- A complete customer solutions strategy encompasses providing many different products and/or services in tandem in order to meet multiple customer needs all in one place (e.g. Starbucks, IBM, Micrsosoft).
- Following a product innovation strategy means that an organization will constantly release the newest and/or best products in its selected category (e.g. Apple, Google, etc.).
- Being the low cost leader involves providing products to a mass market at a very low cost to the consumer (e.g. Wal-Mart, Jiffy-Lube, Amazon).
- Taking on a lock-in strategy means tying consumers into your service offering and keeping them there (e.g. L.A. Fitness, etc.).
Organizations have learned to define themselves through their core strategy because doing so allows them to clearly articulate their value proposition. What’s a value proposition? Simply stated, it’s what a company will provide consumers that will add value to their lives. Every company needs to ask itself that question. Why would consumers pay us money for this product?
Now, writers, take a step back. Ask yourself this: why would anyone want to read my work?
Let’s take one of the businesses listed above to explore possible answers. Starbucks. What does Starbucks provide its customers so that they’ll pay an absurd amount of money for coffee? The answer? Their value proposition:
- Excellent coffee.
- Friendly baristas (that remember your name and drink of choice).
- Casual, relaxing, and inviting atmosphere.
- Complimentary products (muffins, music, etc.).
Let’s explore that together.