It’s hard for leaders to choose just one strategy…. isn’t it better to appeal to many different audiences? Actually not, if you want your customer to remember what you stand for….how are you different from competition?

This is the suggestion from  Michael Treacy in his book  “The Disciplines of Market Leaders.” There are some powerful messages here. 

The book describes three overall strategic alternatives

Operational Excellence……think Walmart, Southwest airlines, and Dell Computer. This is a best value, low price focus.

Product or Service Innovation……think Apple Computer, Intel, Sony, Toyota. This is a best product, premium price, and leading edge innovator focus.

Customer Intimacy…..think Ritz-Carlton, Nordstrom’s. This is a focus on the customer as king, plus requires a premium price.

Pick ONE of these to focus on…..the other two, you can be good enough.  Try to focus on all three… will appear grey to your audience and be mediocre, at best.

So what would be your focus?