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Strategic Planning – Stealing from Customers, Part 2

 

Strategic Planning Expert Robert Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert Robert Bradford

by: Robert Bradford, CEO, CSSP, Inc.

One of the real upsides of a recession is the cleansing effect it has…I notice a high correlation between poor strategy and disastrous performance in recessions.  That isn’t to say that good strategy makes you completely immune to a downturn, but you will weather the storm much better with a good gameplan in place.

In particular, the problem I mentioned earlier about “stealing from customers” tends to precipitate interesting behaviors during tough times.  This is partially because EVERYONE wants your business when their markets get soft – so the commodity players amp up their products and service, while the specialty players trim their prices.  The people who made money by cheating their customers…well, they don’t have anywhere to go.  That’s why we are starting to see the end of certain stupid practices in the airline industry, the hotel industry, and other places where it has become fashionable to take money from customers without delivering value.  The only places you don’t see such practices challenged is where there is some kind of monopoly power – such as your local cable, phone or power company.

I’m curious…is anyone seeing this trend, too?  Are there any counter-examples, where a company is removing value from their product/service and becoming more successful?