How to Execute a 15-Word Strategy (Positioning) Statement by Alessandro Di Fiore | 8:00 AM April 29, 2014
There is no shortage of stories and anecdotes to illustrate how the best strategies can nearly always be reduced down to a brief but powerful statement and even more ink has been spilled describing the dangers of strategy statements that read like detailed action plans. But how do you go about actually crafting — and using — a 15-word strategy statement? My approach is based on narrative techniques. I begin by working with clients to write a story based on this template: Once upon a time there was (insert a name who exemplifies your target customer/consumer) …. . Every day he/she (insert here his/her frustration or job to be done) …. . One day we developed (insert here the product/solution and what are actually the 2-3 things we offer or not) … . Until finally (insert here the end result for the customer/consumer compared to competition) … . A few years ago, I facilitated a strategic innovation workshop for a swimwear manufacturer. We were trying to put together a value proposition for very occasional swimmers who don’t like to practice the sport in a pool, and whose water experience is essentially little more than paddling in the sea or sitting in a small private pool. We started by watching videos of these swimmers, from smartphone footage taken by sales people visiting public pools around the world that had then been posted on an internal collaboration platform, along with observations from the people taking the shots about what the swimmers seemed to find most difficult. The workshop participants clustered the individual swimmers’ pain points into a number of categories, which they ranked along two metrics. The first metric was a product of the degree of the pain and how many swimmers experienced it and the second was a measure of actionability: could a new product or service feature resolve the problem? With this information we designed a value...
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