The purposes of the analyses are to diagnose the market and help the Company develop: the customers it wishes to target; the value proposition the Company will offer these customers; and the plan the Company will use to earn a good return on the business the customers generate for the Company. We have organized these analyses into six major sections in order to accomplish this purpose.
At the end of each Analysis, we provide links to other areas of StrategyStreet to help you gain a greater overall perspective on the analysis and on difficult marketplaces. The Symptoms and Implications section will enable you to identify symptoms developing in the market that would suggest the need for the analysis. In addition, you will find specific Perspectives related to the analysis that convey some of the conclusions we have reached as a result of our long-term study and observation of difficult marketplaces.
|This section of the analyses defines the business. It first segments the customers in the business according to the major customer needs that could increase company costs. Next, it segments customers by the potential volume each customer segment represents for the company.|
|2. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES|
|The Products and Services Analyses will help the company develop a value proposition for its chosen customer targets, determine which price points it will cover in the market place and define improvements that will both appeal to customers and discourage competition.|
|These analyses lead the company to set its pricing policy for each customer in a way that enables the company to use price to its best advantage against competition in the marketplace.|
|These analyses help the company determine how it will reduce its cost structure in order to improve its returns on investment.|
|Over the years, we have written a number of Perspectives that cover a broad range of subjects in deteriorating and hostile marketplaces. We recommend that you review some or all of these articles before undertaking extensive analyses or delving deeper into the other Perspectives. These broad discussion Perspectives add important context to the Analyses, Symptoms and Implications and to the other Perspectives. These general articles include:|
|“Use Subtle Strategy in Tough Markets”|
A hostile market operates differently than a market with “normal” competitive conditions. But as difficult as a tough market can be, it can also present an astute management team with an unusual opportunity.
|“Rare Mettle: Gold and Silver Strategies to Succeed in Hostile Markets”|
Managements of winning companies have common themes for success in hostile markets. They each follow five basic themes. While virtually all successful companies are aware of these themes, their implementation differs according to their market position at the onset of hostility.
|“Staying Alive in a Hostile Marketplace” A few companies survive and even prosper during periods of hostility. How do these companies avoid being the victims of tough market conditions?|
|“Success Under Fire: Policies to Prosper in Hostile Times”|
A hostile market evolves through six predictable phases. Most companies fail, withdraw or become acquisitions before this evolution is complete. They fail because their management policies were not effective. The few who survive and prosper do so by making decisions that follow two rules: attract customers and discourage competition. Losers lose by not following the second rule.
|“The Wisdom of Salomon”|
In the late ’80s, the investment banking firm of Salomon Inc. decided to leave the municipal bond market – a market the firm had lead. This withdrawal showed just how limited management’s options are when a market goes into overcapacity and how the best choice under such conditions may be the painful decision to leave the industry.
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