Value proposition

Define the Who not the What to Improve Results

 

Kaihan Krippendorff asks a most pertinent question to help companies identify a strategy that will improve customer relations and revenue.  

The former president of Starbucks, Howard Behar, told me a few months ago that the most important decision Starbucks made, that led to many of the disruptive choices this category-defining company made, was their decision to be “in the people business serving coffee” rather than the “coffee business serving people”.

In other words, Starbucks decided to view their “customer” as the worker in their store serving coffee. Their purpose was to create great jobs and lives for them.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said, “We were going pretty well as a shoe company but our growth really took off when we realized were a customer service company that happened to sell shoes.”

Hartford Steam Boiler, whose strategy I will dig into in a later post, seems to be an insurance company but actually sees itself as and, more importantly, acts as an engineering company that happens to monetize through insurance.

 

This article explains how the following questions help define a growth strategy.

  • What is our actual business (e.g., consumer electronics and not medical devices)?
  • How does that kind of company behave differently?

 

Read the full article, The Most Important Strategic Question To Ask: What Business Are You In?, on Kaihan’s website.