There is an intriguing article in The New York Times about Carrefour, the France-based #2 retailer in the world by sales (behind Wal-Mart) that highlights how they slipped on their competitive strategy and what they have been doing to strengthen their position.
This is an interesting quote from the chief, Lars Olofsson, “Carrefour had lost track of being client and consumer focused and lost a certain track of price competitiveness.”
Why is it interesting? Well, like Wal-Mart, Carrefour focuses on low prices for the masses, yet it appears that somewhere along the way, that strategy faded…something that happens.
This is a key reminder of a few critical points about competitive strategy.
- It is very easy to lose track of the original strategy that made you successful.
- All decisions need to be filtered through your strategy to ensure they add to your competitive advantage.
- If you do not have simple, clear measures each week at a minimum (key performance indicators) telling you how well you are executing your strategy, it is easy to lose focus and not even know it.
Coach Kevin’s Challenge:
- What is your competitive strategy?
- What are the 2-3 tangible measures that tell you if you are delivering on your strategy or not?
Strategy is only important if you want to win!