23 February 2009 104 Comments

The force of shaping strategy-1

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

brand-strategy-1brand-startegy21Not quite long,I read a recent Harvard Business review which discusses strategy. The article got my whole attention and part of what I learnt is what I shared with you here today. I do think if you have anything to do with idea development or strategy, it will be a good read. In a previous article I have tried to discuss strategy. I did explain that strategy is seen as a plan, pattern, position, ploy and perspective among many other terms. As position, strategy is the stance you take. It is broad and long-ranged. In part it is the preparations made before battle and sometimes it is avoiding the battle at as a whole. But here our discussion is not basically about strategy but a shaping strategy. In a way, every strategy can be viewed as shaping strategy. But shaping strategy focuses on dictating the trend of the market. A shaping strategy is no less than an effort to broadly redefine the terms of competition for a market sector through positive, galvanizing messages that promise benefits to all who adopt the new terms. For instance, Google entrance into telecoms spaces has changed the phase of competitive landscapes from AT&t, Verizon and others.

Shaping strategy is far from just a fantastic coinage of brand’s personality or slogans. It is more of engaging in steps that are built on deep structure. This process is often helped by enabling and powerful infrastructure that enhances brand’s performance and reduces risk exposure.

To benefit from shaping strategy, brand must:

1. Define focus for participating companies: as soon as a brand sets out on the journey of shaping industry focus, it must be ready to define a focus for those who will soon join in the race.

2. Identify opportunities: Before any brand can engage in shaping industry strategy, it must first identify opportunities and ensure that efforts will be compensation through the opportunities that are available.

3. Emphasize big picture: the purpose of any shaping strategy is to emphasis the big picture in the whole process. This has to do with what is the long term value of the strategy and opportunity

4. Change mindset, strong imagination: the question is does your brand feel a strange desire for a positive change in the status quo? Does the brand has a strong imagination for a better way to make the market/industry better? Then there is room to engage in shaping strategy.

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