Entrusted Companies

Revenue, profitability, market share, and customer satisfaction are all measures of a company's current position. Today's market share is a reflection of how well a business has performed historically. Chief executives should instead use value and innovation as the important parameters for managing their portfolio of businesses. They should use innovation because, without it, companies are stuck in the trap of competitive improvements. Clearly, what senior executives should be doing is getting their organizations to shift the balance of their future portfolio toward pioneers. In pushing their businesses toward pioneers, however, senior executives should be well aware that even though settlers have marginal growth potential, they are frequently today's cash generators. What would be their best renewal strategy for their portfolio of businesses over time? How would such a renewal strategy work in action? Despite this appetite for change, however, scant work exists on building a viable alternative to existing strategic planning, which is the most essential management task in the sense that almost every company in the world not only does it but often takes several grueling months each year to complete the exercise. Put differently, while companies have a clear process to create plans, as of yet there has been no theory or process for true strategy creation. The Internet is an entrepreneur's oyster, and you can use its pearly platforms to build a personal brand so powerful that the world is not only willing to pay you for your products or services or to promote other people's products and services, but also it might even be willing to pay you to just be you. To me, that is when you've become a true influencer. I want you to think of yourself as tomorrow's newest star. You're the home cook with a beautiful Instagram stream who starts a podcast on canning and gets invited to write a column about urban gardening in a national magazine. You're the boy who started a wine blog that wasn't actually about wine but about making a name for himself as the person who could show other businesses better ways to communicate and sell. The mom's podcast on pregnancy is just the patty of a parenthood burger. Your personal brand can get you all the fixings you want. It also means that most entrepreneurs still have lots of room to ratchet up their game to become influencers. I'm watching you out there, and it's shocking to me how many entrepreneurs trap themselves into boxes of their own making, even though they have so much more power than they did before. Today, the Internet is the mainstream. You are in complete control of how the world sees you, how often, and in what context. However, it can work for anyone in any industry who wants to put in the hustle. You no longer have to toil incognito behind someone else's name or logo until you build enough cred to strike out on your own. Of course you can, and many do, often to build up their knowledge, life experience, and savings accounts before taking that entrepreneurial leap. Typically, to grow their share of a market, companies strive to retain and expand existing customers. This often leads to finer segmentation and greater tailoring of offerings to better meet customer preferences. The more intense the competition is, the greater, on average, is the resulting customization of offerings. Instead of concentrating on customers, they need to look to noncustomers. And instead of focusing on customer differences, they need to build on powerful commonalities in what buyers value. That allows companies to reach beyond existing demand to unlock a new mass of customers that did not exist before. Do you seek out key commonalities in what buyers value, or do you strive to embrace customer differences through finer customization and There are three tiers of noncustomers that can be transformed into customers. They differ in their relative distance from your market. They sit on the edge of the market. They are buyers who minimally purchase an industry's offering out of necessity but are mentally noncustomers of the industry. They are waiting to jump ship and leave the industry as soon as the opportunity presents itself. However, if offered a leap in value, not only would they stay, but also their frequency of purchases would multiply, unlocking enormous latent demand. By focusing on key commonalities across your noncustomers and existing customers, companies can understand how to pull them into their new market.