(Kotler 608-609) Two marketing consultants, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, offer a more customer-centred classification of competitive marketing strategies. 9 They suggest that companies gain leadership positions by delivering superior value to their customers. Companies can pursue any of three strategies—called value disciplines —for delivering superior customer value. • Operational excellence: The company provides superior value by leading its industry in price and convenience. It works to reduce costs and create a lean and efficient value-delivery system. It serves customers who want reliable, good-
quality products or services but want them cheaply and easily. Examples include Walmart, Costco, and WestJet. • Customer intimacy: The company provides superior value by precisely segmenting its markets and tailoring its products or services to exactly match the needs of targeted customers. It specializes in satisfying unique customer needs through a close relationship with and intimate knowledge of the customer. It builds detailed customer databases for segmenting and targeting and empowers its marketing people to respond quickly to customer needs. Customer-intimate companies serve customers who are willing to pay a premium to get precisely what they want. They will do almost anything to build long-term customer loyalty and to capture customer lifetime value. Examples include Fairmont Hotels, TD, Loyalty One, Lexus, and British Airways. As we learned in the very first chapter, at Running Room, customer intimacy starts with a deep-down obsession with customer service. • Product leadership: The company provides superior value by offering a continuous stream of leading-edge products or services. It aims to make competing products obsolete. Product leaders are open to new ideas, relentlessly pursue new solutions, and work to get new products to market quickly. They serve customers who want state-of-the-art products and services, regardless of the costs in terms of price or inconvenience. Examples include Apple and Nokia. (Kotler 609) Some companies successfully pursue more than one value discipline at the same time. For example, FedEx excels at both operational excellence and customer intimacy. However, such companies are rare; few firms can be the best at more than one of these disciplines. By trying to be good at all value disciplines, a company usually ends up being best at none . (Kotler 609) Competitive Positions Firms competing in a given target market, at any point in time, differ in their objectives and resources. Some firms are large; others are small. Some have many resources; others are strapped for funds. Some are mature and established; others are new and fresh. Some strive for rapid market share growth; others strive for long- term profits. And these firms occupy different competitive positions in the target market.
- Winter '16
- Simon P. Sigué