Date Archives March 2018

Grand Strategy | Market Development

I recently had to do some reading around Strategic Management and came across the concept of Grad Strategies. An organizations Grand Strategy(ies) refer(s) to the manner in which that company wishes to proceed in delivering on it’s mission. This definition is arrived at at a very high level and determines the details of the courses of action an organization takes.

Out of the fifteen Grand Strategies described in my sources, one which struck me was Market Development. Market Development simply means selling the same product by giving the customer new reasons to by the product, new uses for the product and the like. An example in this is a case where Nutella expanded it’s market by advertising new ways of using the spread.

The traditional idea of using Nutella on sliced bread as the only way to use the product was debunked by an advertising stunt where the makers sold the idea of making cakes with Nutella to it’s already growing throng of customers. This strategy was made very effective by including the recipe on the product’s label! A simple Google search will show how widespread this Nutella Cake idea became.

Coming home a bit, I thought to myself that this idea can be adopted by local producers of processed food. One experiment I have begun exploring is urging the producers of Hutchies Honey to show us all the nice things we can do with honey. I do hope the idea works and becomes a good reference point for Market Development in my environment.

Just before I sign out, I want to challenge you to develop a marketing plan that involves telling your customers every possible way your product can be of benefit to them. The customer is your focus remember. I believe this Grand Strategy will work for all kinds of products and all kinds of entrepreneurs as long as we are willing to thing deeply and broadly.

By the way, I will be posting videos of Hutchies Honey’s efforts if this experiment does pull through. Connect with us on our YouTube Channel

Saying “NO”

In our quest to gain traction in the distribution of our books we have encountered many experiences in the nature of responses we receive. Most bookshops and distributors we engage are glad to help and readily accept copies of our latest book even when they are not sure how it will turn out. We definitely get a few “NOs” or “Not at this time” responses which we completely understand. The aspect we are a little concerned about is silence. Silence can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but we are not sure how to interpret it in the current context.

  1. Uncertainty

A person could be uncertain of an answer and choose not to commit when asked a question. For example, the question could be “Will You Marry Me?”. It is a very serious question that requires deep thought and some ladies fail to engage in such deep though or prayer as the case may be and simply choose to wait it out in silence. “Will He ask Again?” they may contemplate. They are uncertain of the answer thus keep silent on the question.

  1. Emotions

We are created to a very serious extent as emotional being. When we have become involved with people as friends or business partners we tend to avoid “hurting feelings”. One of the ways in which this position manifest is the tendency to fail to respond to a request in the negative because we are concerned about how the negative response will affect the person involved. The question could be “Can I have a loan of $20,000 to start a business?”. We have the resources, but we are unwilling to commit such an amount to our friend because we do not trust his prudence, so we go silent, stalling and hoping he forgets about asking again.

  1. Cowardice

There are people in our lives to whom we feel a sense of debt because they helped us in the past or because they are senior to us. We cannot see ourselves say “NO” to them on any request. We go out of our way to give them all their hearts desires but when we hit that point where the heart’s desire is simply beyond our own reach we do not know how else to handle the situation other than being silent and avoiding the person.

In our case, we feel we may be victims of number 2. The bookshop simply does not want to hurt the feelings of a budding author so goes quiet on a request to distribute books. They hope that the author will become fed up with “We shall get back to you next week” and eventually stop asking. That happens most of the time with any reasonable person but we do feel that a quick “NO” gives the requester opportunity to ask the next person. A quick “NO” is a good response. So, when next you get a request you cannot grant or are unwilling to grant, do not be afraid or too concerned about the requester’s feelings to say “NO”. You could be doing the person a big favour.

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