04 августа 2014


Swedish economist and member of the world ranking Thinkers 50 spoke of two successful business strategies and how to capitalize on the shortcomings of their companies.

Be different!
At all times there were people who changed the rules of the game. Ronald Reagan, who called Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin wall, Salvador Dali, pulled syurealizm world, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who founded Cubism, Elvis, who invented a new RM, Steve Jobs made ​​a new world of gadgets. After what they have done, the world will never be the same again.

For example, when Apple released the iPhone, Nokia employees life was turned upside down. And all because successful in business are not the ones who will make your product better or cheaper, and those who manage to be different, different from all of this and do philosophy. Then, changing the rules to their advantage, you can be a leader as long as someone else does not change them again.

In order to make money in a market economy, you have to create and then to keep a long-term competitive advantage. You may not be unique, but should seem so. Moreover, the unique and do not appear to be unique, even better than to behave contrary.

In the last century, this unique part is technology. One hundred years ago, Siemens have a technology that allowed her to keep a temporary monopoly and internationalize their business. Only years later competitors were able to repeat this technology and stay ahead of Siemens.

Today, the technology is still important, but it is not enough to be a market leader. They, like the air we breathe. As soon as new technology becomes available to all, it can not provide a competitive advantage.

If the technology is the same, the winner is the one who is even slightly surpasses competitors in organization and management processes. We have entered an era of organizational and managerial innovations.

Adapt or tempt
There are two strategies for survival in such market conditions.

According to the first strategy, companies are forced to adapt: changing market conditions - changing business model, changing customer preferences - changing product. Adapt or die, all as Darwin.

Over the past 20 years, we have witnessed how some companies managed to achieve perfect balance of price and quality by adjusting its business model under market conditions or creating an entirely new one. Take at least Amazon, which has managed to offer more for less.

Once there was only one model of management of the organization - vertical. And if Henry Ford wanted to produce cars, he was forced to produce metal, rubber, wood for the trim. While these actions make sense - there was simply no market.

But today, almost everything you can imagine, has its own market. Furthermore, a global market. Therefore, one of the most important issues of modern business is: do something yourself or buy it? Restore order in the office yourself or hire a Cleaning Service? Bookkeeping yourself or give it to outsource? This is a very simple principle.

Old recipe for success in business is to be all things to all locally. A kind of local dominant diversified conglomerate. Recipe for success today - to be something for someone and be able to find this audience, wherever it was. The larger the market, the more we have to focus. We adapt.

There is a second strategy. Returning to Darwin, it must be said that, in his " Origin of Species ", he could not explain why animals unfit survive such as the peacock, especially the male peacock. He can not run fast, he has a great psychedelic tail, in the end, he - a bird that can not fly. According to Darwin , he had become extinct.

But if we want to understand why he is still alive, we should not look at the male and the female peacock - the buyer. Male attracts, seduces her thanks to her faults, not despite them. Therefore the main task of the competition - to make their advantages disadvantages bright!

Do lipstick sell hope
The same thing happens in business. There are plenty of companies that offer customers not pay for quality, but for quality. This E-business, in which E - means emotions (emotions).

In business, there are two kinds of such positive weaknesses: ethical and aesthetic.
Suppose that some plant invests huge sums in clean technology, green production, reuse of raw materials and so on. Could it be his fault? From the perspective of market players - yes, because such costs he must raise the price of their products. But a shortcoming that is trustworthy. Not all , but at least some . Not everyone will agree to pay for the products of the plant is more than knowing that it seeks to preserve nature, but such people exist.

This is the dignity of ethical shortcomings.
Aesthetic defects due to the fact that, as a rule, we do not sell exactly what we buy. There will be very appropriate phrase Charles Revson, head of the largest cosmetics company Revlon, already managed to become a classic: "In the factory we make lipstick. In the store we sell hope."

Can be regarded as illustrative case and BMW. They have 36 in the team of engineers who work only on the sound of the door closing in cars. And 11 more are building special smell in the cabin. Each new model BMW must be unique.

When I asked them what such costs, they replied: " It's so obvious!" All to choosing a car, you can get behind the wheel to hear a pleasant sound, slamming the door and inhale the smell that would differ from odors of other salons. To sum ​​of $ 99,000 seemed to you to be justified.

By all the laws of the market, BMW simply would not have to exist. In a completely rational world, we all drove to Toyota Corolla. But we do not do this, because guided by emotions. And companies like BMW understand that sometimes more important to give the buyer an emotional experience than the most favorable ratio of price - quality.

At Harley-Davidson certainly not buying motorcycles. They buy opportunity. Opportunity for forty years manager wear a leather jacket and ride with the breeze through the streets of a small city at night, so that people were afraid of him.

Adjusts or tempt
These strategies can be found in completely different industries. For example, do not need to be a genius to understand : Apple remains the sexiest company in the world for the past 5-6 years.
All these are good examples, but understand what techniques or tools could lead to success once is not enough. Need to think about what can cause your company to success in the future. This means that you must change. Stability is impossible in a market economy. Many companies are afraid of change. But they should be treated quite differently. After each change - a new opportunity , a new challenge , using which , you can achieve success.

 На русском / In russian