Friday, June 8, 2007

Buckle up....

Okay, here we go....
Have you ever considered what makes the difference between a successful company and one that is simply in the game? What are the essential elements that make the difference - in MBA speak, what are the Key Success Factors (KSFs)? What makes a person in charge a true leader, and just what is required to be a leader? Is authority the same as leadership? How about control - is controlling the same as leading? How does a company grow? Does a company need to grow? What is marketing? What is branding? What is relationship selling? What about strategy? Does a company need a strategy or a business plan?

These are the types of questions to explore at BizInsight. My mission is to always be talking about the latest thinking in business...and I know what you're thinking. Some of these questions I've listed are pretty fundamental and you're absolutely right. But, most of the time the latest thinking is just about applying the fundamentals in a different way. Most Key Success Factors are basic. I'll give a brief example:

The Ford Mustang was a paradigm buster when it was realeased in 1964 by visionary Lee Iacocca. It went on to sell a million units by 1966 - let's just say the car went on to be wildly successful. Was the muscle car concept new? No! Does the name Corvette ring a bell? What was new was the concept of a powerful street car the average guy could afford. The price point was a KSF. One of the key tools of marketing is Price, but we can't always think of price in terms of 'lower is better'. Not when we're marketing a product or service.

We have to think of Price as one component of the marketing mix, and it must be aligned with all the other components. For example, the price must match the brand position of the product or service. Lee Iacocca defined a new niche with the Mustang. The car was much more powerful than the Corvair or the Falcon so it had to be priced higher than those cars. But, it was no match for the Corvette in performance, and was therefore priced lower. Had the Price of the Mustang been inconsistent with its Brand Position (ie, affordable muscle car) it would have surely failed. Did Mr. Iacocca create a new marketing concept with the Mustang? No, he applied a fundamental concept in a new way and created a successful niche. Okay, a very successful niche.

And so, a little history helps us see the importance of applying conventional business insight in a new way to solve the challenges of the day. Whenever I present a post on the the latest in business thinking; I'll always present in the context of applying fundamental concepts in new ways.