Posted by Paul Gaskell on November 30, 2010
As the markets for consumer goods continue to mature, so the consumer insight arms race continues to grow in intensity. A whole industry is dedicated to developing ever more powerful consumer insight tools to assist in the identification of the next big thing or the next strategic initiative.
I can’t help but feel we’re missing a trick. We’re all buying the same market data from the same small group of suppliers. We’re subjecting it to the same analyses; we’re excluding the same outliers. We’re screening our ideas with the same subsets of consumers and we’re using increasingly similar ‘best in class’ criteria.
Where’s the differentiation? How can we expect to gain a competitive edge in such a uniform market?
A little deviant thinking is called for, something that we at The Value Engineers have always relied on to help break new ground and to crack the hard problems. Competitive strategy is key component of this, a means of side stepping the consumer insight arms race. By understanding our competitors we can spot opportunities that we, and they, have overlooked. Perhaps more importantly, by contrasting ourselves against our competitors we regain our perspective, we shift the focus back to differentiation.
At The Value Engineers we have developed an approach to competitive strategy and war gaming that does just that. We help our clients understand their market from their competitors’ points of view. We focus on facts rather than established truths or rumour and hearsay. We look at the whole value chain rather than the latest market share figures. And we do all of that with our usual flair that helps ensure that we leave a legacy of competitive strategy within the business.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our approach to competitive strategy and war gaming, or our other ideas for breaking out of the consumer insight arms race then we’d be delighted to help. Please do get in touch.
Posted by Richie Heron on November 23, 2010
Posted by Steve Reeves on November 13, 2010
Strategic wargaming is a critical way to stay ahead of the game. We have developed a range of war tactic cards that help you think about your market in a new and different way. Please see below an example.
Surprise Attack & Ambush
An ambush or surprise attack of an unprepared enemy can provide an advantage and give a physical and psychological blow.
THE SIX DAY WAR, 1967
- In 1967, the element of surprise allowed 3 Israeli armoured divisions to capture the entire Sinai Peninsula in just 6 days, against substantial odds.
- They knocked out the Egyptian air forces on the ground leaving the Israeli’s with almost complete air superiority.
Implications – What is the last thing that our competitors expect us to do?
For more information on strategic wargaming please contact The Value Engineers.
Posted by Giles Lury on November 12, 2010
According to some recent research conducted for Asda, 85% of women worry about the shape and size of their bottoms. This led Asda to team up with ‘bottom expert’ Dr David Holmes and create a new segmentation of female posteriors. His results showed that due to modern day diets and exercise, today’s ladies have evolved in the bottom department and that the traditional “Peach” is no longer the norm. In fact, today’s women have one of four new fruity bottom shapes: “Tomato”, “Potato”, “Pear” and “Nectarine”.
- The Tomato – A new take on the peach, with 45% of the women surveyed declaring that this shape was most applicable to their behind. Bigger, plumper, rounder and squishy to the touch the tomato is fast becoming the norm in modern day society.
- The Potato – The second most common vegetable shape to have materialised across the nation, with 30% of women falling into this category, is the humble potato. This wide and long bottom is a less fortunate shape; lumpy in parts, it needs careful dressing and attention.
- The Pear – The pear shaped figure has now evolved into the pear shaped bottom, narrower at the top and almost twice the size at the fullest part of the behind. 15% of women highlighted that this shape was most applicable to them
- The Nectarine – Close to the cartoonesque derrière perfection of two bowling balls pushed together, the nectarine is full, round and pert in appearance. This is a rare bottom, not often seen strutting down the high street - only 10% claiming to own this picture perfect posterior.
Not surprisingly the reserach has created lots of comment, with The Times T2, creating their complimentary segmentation of Men’s bums…
- The (Rod) Stewart Bum – once sexy but withering with age
- The Gangsta Bum - Often seen in urban areas and popular with youngsters wanted to establish their street creds
- The Scratchy Bum - seems to be endemic amongst teenagers and young men who have just left home, probably caused by poor personal hygiene
- The Cowell Bum - its generous upholstery belies a mean streak and has a tendency to blow its own trumpet!
All of which remained me of a segmentation of segmentations we did a while ago which also played to a fruity theme…
- The Golden Delicious - tried and trusted and fitting to a formula, good if you think you have the same objectives and targets as your competitiors
- The Sharon Fruit - expensive and classy but tends to sit on the shelf as no one knows what to do with it
- The Dragon Fruit – funky and fabulous, the latest hot ticket but neither practical nor full of flavour
- The Peach - fundamentally changes the way your business plans, provides the answers you want tailored specifically to your business
Not too surprisingly, we would say that the latter fits with what we deliver in our segmentation projects. If on the oft chance you are interested in finding out more about our peachy approach to segmentation then please do contact Paul Durrant or Owen Williams. If you have any observations on bottoms, alternatively, I’d be pleased to hear them!