It has always taken a clear company strategy to sustain a successful company. After all, this has always been at the core of your success. However, one year ago, the world was turned upside down. At the onset of the pandemic, most of us probably thought that it was simply a passing phase, that we could sit out the crisis and we could quickly return back to our old daily routines.
After 12 months, we know that is not the case. Now it is time for us to look radically at our own fundamental ways of thinking and facilitating our business.
Yet, do we need a brand new strategy? What can we learn from companies such as Adidas, Ikea and Tesla? To begin with, let’s clarify some essential issues:
1. What is the definition of a company strategy?
A company strategy outlines how to reach one or several future goals. These are long-term, strategic goals which are broken down to medium and short-term goals. In short: your company’s strategy points you to the main direction for optimal business development. Furthermore, the strategy must also provide the ways to facilitate those goals, that is to say, HOW to do this.
2. Exactly what is a strategic goal?
Put simply, a strategic goal defines a condition in the future which is attractive and worth striving for. Strategic goals make your company vision and mission concrete and depict an important benchmark for long-term company success.
3. What makes a good company strategy?
From my experience, good functioning corporate strategies are often defined by the following:
- Clients are the focus of all considerations (Customer Centricity)
- Sell solutions instead of products (Re-thing sales)
- Creation and utilization of competitive advantages (through innovation & transformation)
- Utilization of technological innovation to increase efficiency (through targeted digitalization)
- Making the work with and orientation towards strategic goals a lived experience (to anchor in your company culture)
Practical examples of well thought-out company strategies
Adidas’s Corporate Strategy
Let’s take a look at some major players and their fundamental approaches. Adidas, for example, have an Own the Game strategy, whereby the consumer remains the focus (more about this approach here: Customer Centricity).
Adidas concentrates on the dimensions of credibility, consumer experience and sustainability. In addition, Adidas names two so called “Strategic Enablers“ that is to say, factors for securing success: Innovation and digitalization. Adidas concentrates on the dimensions of credibility, consumer experience and sustainability. In addition, Adidas names two so called “Strategic Enablers“ that is to say, factors for securing success: Innovation and digitalization.
IKEA’s Corporate Strategy
IKEA’s vision is “to create a better everyday life for the many people”.
The business idea of providing a broad assortment of beautifully formed yet functional furnishings at an affordable price is consistently updated through a distinctive innovation strategy. In addition to the standard apps for smartphones and tablets, the company now offers an app called “IKEA Place” which provides online shoppers with Augmented Reality (AR) Features. At the same time, the company is investing in highly innovative city centre shops full of lifestyle flair.
A seven-story IKEA store is being built this year at Vienna’s West Railway Station (Westbahnhof) where all physical and digital sales and communications channels will be completely networked with each other: Omnichannel-Marketing at the highest level!
Tesla, Apple & Co Corporate Strategies
Familiar corporate strategies of high-tech companies such as Apple and Tesla are also driven by highly innovative technologies which turn their products into trends, their consumers into fans. This is also omni-channel marketing at its best!
Developing Sustainable Corporate Strategies into International Business.
Developing a corporate strategy is a complex process which needs us to make predictions about the future. Today, this poses a special challenge as so many companies are struggling to secure any plans at all. This is perhaps why the creation and development of a corporate strategy is so essential for future success right now. Sustainable corporate strategies which are secure in these times of crisis, are especially valuable. This applies particularly to companies operating internationally.
Processing a strategy is one thing, implementing it is another. Whereby, for example, a checklist, a written strategy concept or a further developed form including balanced score cards could be of considerable practical value. These can also be used to document the results of company activities concerning the implementation of corporate strategy.
Corporate Strategy vs. Business Area Strategy
As the term suggests, the corporate strategy (an essential strategy for the entire company) should not be mistaken for the business area strategy. Both are important, however, the latter concerns only a part of the company acting in a special area.
The Corporate Strategy as a Pyramid?
The longer the Corona virus crisis lasts, the more urgent the questions regarding corporate strategy become. Very often, the corporate strategy is depicted as a pyramid such as in this current example:
This process is no doubt correct, however, it is still quite general.
Our concept: Aligning corporate strategies with essential success factors.
At perspective: international we have taken a three-dimensional diamond and developed the diamond success compass as a practice model which concretely illustrates a series of important company success factors and their relationship to each other (see detail www.diamond-success.com). Here is a summary of this model which can be seen as a good basis for the development of a corporate strategy:
diamond success compass is the concept, on which the practice oriented consultancy of perspective: international is based. It describes 5 especially important success factors (particularly for international business), puts them in relationship to each other and helps to optimize holistically the interplay of each factor. For a corporate strategy should also be multi-dimensional and seen or considered from diverse angles..
Digitalization (in the company in general and in particular in sales) which today, for many companies, has become a question of survival, was always a fundamental corner stone of the diamond success compass, even before the Corona virus emerged. Now, it is more significant than ever.
Creating a corporate culture which encourages people to make change and transformation the drivers of success is the most important task in this model as it is in the development of a good corporate strategy. The concept presents a general framework for orientation and negotiation. All factors mentioned are highly multi-faceted and require individual, comprehensive treatment.
Professional Advice on Corporate Strategy
If you have further questions about the development of a corporate strategy and would like to take advantage of our consultancy, drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to provide you with further information about digitalization and transformation in sales and also introduce you to our diamond success compass concept in detail. We look forward very much to hearing from you!
He founded perspective: international in 2013. He works as a strategic advisor, operative facilitator and interim manager with many years of experience in internationalization and international business development.