What is Strategic Awareness, you ask? Well, basically, it’s another way of saying understand the context in which your business operates.
And what does it mean to become better at it? Always keep it in the forefront of your mind and run all your decisions through it.
Ok, let me give you an example of what I mean.
We all know and love our two major Australian supermarket chains, right?
They are pretty much neck-in-neck in terms of competing for our affections and our wallets. Whatever one company does, we expect the other one to copy soon after, and we are rarely disappointed.
Their marketing and advertising strategies are pretty much the same, their operations are very similar and it seems there’s not much room for differentiation, but that is not so. This is where Strategic Awareness comes into play.
Recently, one of the chains opened a new store in a location where the other one already had presence for a number of years. The location – one of the more affluent suburbs of Melbourne.
The residents of this suburb are used to posh and plush atmosphere, so the new entrant didn’t spare the expense in creating a modern glass and marble setting for its store.
The incumbent chain responded by refurbishing and renovating its store in a similar manner to prevent customers from being seduced away by shine and glamour. A totally literate pre-emptive tactical move, right? But it didn’t work.
Many customers still went over to the new entrant. Why? It turned out to be quite simple: the new entrant has an elevator and an escalator to take people from the carpark right into the store.
The incumbent’s customers have to walk from the carpark around the outside to enter the store. In a suburb with an affluent older demographic this turned out to be a major competitive disadvantage.
We often become so engrossed in tactics and execution that we forget to be strategically aware, which, once again, means keeping the context in which we operate in the forefront of our mind and running all our decisions through it. This requires periodically stepping back and re-assessing the ‘why’s and the ‘how’s of whatever it is we’re doing.
And that’s exactly what the FocusPlanAchieve methodology is meant to help you with. That, and much, much more.