Writing strategic insight is crucial for every business; however, a set of questions may ease that analytical task.
Moreover, a communication practitioner may help your internal analyst team to design a rigorous form to acquire the real picture.
A company always tries to build a distinct competitive advantage to grow more and to be profitable over the long term. A very few have a clear idea of what that really means. The various language of strategy creates confusion among them, as they are not oriented with the technical details of analytical tools.
We would like to tell them to draw three circles.
Those circles, positioned in the proper relationship to one another, provide an excellent visual representation of what strategy—both internal and external—means.
Hundreds of leaders have accepted this strategy concept by using this simple tool. They take it back to their organizations, where it often becomes part of the decision-making process.
Let’s try this exercise by engaging an executive team. First, the team should think intensely about what customers value and why. Identifying deeper values can ease the decision-making process and create new opportunities for value creation. The first circle thus signifies the team’s consensus on most valuable customers or customers’ needs.
Company’s Offerings, Customers’ Needs.
The second circle represents the team’s view of how customers accept the company’s offerings. Here, the two circles overlap indicates how well the company’s offerings are meeting customers’ needs.
Even in mature industries, customers get a chance to express their needs or problems in conversations with companies. Very Often, the customers’ unexpressed problems turn into growth opportunities.
The third circle represents the team’s view of how customers perceive the competitors’ offerings.
Company’s Offerings, Competitors’ Offerings, Customers’ Needs.
Each area within these three circles is strategically essential.
However, A, B, and C are vital to building a competitive advantage. Also, your team should prepare separate questions for each circle.
For A: How significant and sustainable are our advantages? Are they creating distinctive capabilities?
For B: Are we providing well in the area of parity?
For C: How can we breach our competitors’ advantages?
The team should design a strategic plan over the company’s competitive advantages and assess them by asking customers.
The process can yield surprising insights, such as how many opportunities for growth exists in the white space (E).
Another insight might create values for the company or its competitors that not requires for customers now (D, F, or G).
However, the critical disclosure is often that area A, designed as massive by the company, turns out to be little in customers’ eyes.