- Research Feature
- Read Time: 25 min
In a world of commoditized products, companies are turning to service offerings for growth. The key to success involves redefining markets in terms of customer activities and outcomes, not products and services.
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In a world of mobile talent, open markets and brutal competition, it’s increasingly difficult to maintain an advantage over competitors through product innovation. As a result, some companies have figured out how to outdistance rivals through customer-focused strategies that are virtually imitation-proof.
The product-development process is often seen as an undependable “black box” that rarely produces results that exceed business expectations. With an approach called “net present value, risk-adjusted,” the author offers an operational framework of quantitative tools that can be integrated into existing stage-gate methodologies to create a risk-adjusted NPV that considers the impacts of product portfolio, user needs, and technical and marketing risks.
Traditional strategic planning draws from forecasts of parameters like market growth, prices, exchange rates, and input costs that managers are unable to predict five or 10 years in advance with any accuracy. The author discusses a strategy that embodies a coherent portfolio of options, sketches a process managers can use to develop this kind of strategy, and explains how planning and management opportunism can reinforce each other.
Are strategic takeovers, which are generally friendly transactions involving stock and firms in overlapping businesses, more profitable than financial deals, which are usually hostile transactions involving cash and firms in unrelated businesses?
A combination of temporary conditions such as environmental factors or price cuts may permanently affect a company’s market share. What causes the phenomenon of hysteresis in marketing? Can companies predict and take advantage of this effect? Equally important, can they avoid becoming its victims?
The persistent U.S. trade imbalance may have two causes: a declining manufacturing base and the shift of the U.S. economy toward services. Correcting the imbalance will require a substantial commitment to expand America’s manufacturing base.
How can managers improve the ethical quality of their decisions and ensure that their decisions will not backfire? The authors discuss three types of theories that will help executives understand how they make the judgments on which they base their decisions. By understanding those theories, they can learn how to make better, more ethical decisions.
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