Posts con el tag ‘strategy’

Toilet paper in a Marketing Strategy class?

Our monthly Executive MBA participants recently dealt with a case that was somewhat out of the ordinary: that of Renova’s black toilet paper. The activity was the topic of their Marketing Strategy class, involving a case study which would put all their newly-acquired knowledge to the test. At the end of the class, Prof. Andrés Cuneo resolved the case with the group, explaining the final outcome.

ESADE’s EMBA is a 4-phase programme, which focuses on Management Development from all vantage points. The Marketing Strategy module in particular, is carried out in Phase 1 -entitled “Company, Environment & Function”- touches on innovative aspects of management, which are learned, discussed and debated in-depth, offering a current vision of the company and its reality.

During the session in question, the participants reflected on the Renova case and offered their own perspective on the managerial decision-making process behind choices of this kind, and how they affect the success, or otherwise, of business models. To everyone’s surprise, including Professor Cuneo himself, one of the students came bearing gifts: everyone in the class got to take home a roll of black toilet paper!

ESADE EMBA Marketing Strategy

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Strategy: differentiation, optimisation or both?

Which of these strategies leads to success? Although there is no easy answer to this question, based on the content and considerations explored in the subject General Management (EMBA, ESADE Madrid), I will defend my own view: differentiation, hands down.

This is not to detract from optimisation or operational efficiency. Simply put, optimisation is not a strategy, but a basic pillar for a company to be able to compete.

Except for those companies that have no competitors (few and far between), any company seeking to be competitive must cultivate a philosophy of optimisation and operational efficiency in each and every one of its processes if it wants to succeed. Otherwise, the market itself will expel it. This leads to a new hypothesis: if a company manages to optimise better than any of its competitors, could it base its strategy on that?

No way, because it is only a matter of time until it would be plagiarised. This is the polar opposite of companies that reach a maximum level of optimisation through technological differentiation.

Those companies achieve their differentiated position based on their technology, which allows them to differentiate themselves specifically in terms of costs.

This final consideration shows that all strategies should be based on differentiation and making the maximum effort to create barriers to defend that differentiation over time, regardless of the type of differentiation chosen.

Post by José Luis García Laguna - Executive MBA 2017


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