Search results

1 – 10 of 791
Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 31 October 2008

Stuart E. Jackson

Most investors and business leaders understand that the internet has created a few high‐profile success but many more start‐up businesses that have destroyed rather than

Downloads
908

Abstract

Purpose

Most investors and business leaders understand that the internet has created a few high‐profile success but many more start‐up businesses that have destroyed rather than created value. As a result, many executives have dampened expectations for the transformational potential of internet‐based commerce, and have cut back investments accordingly. In this column, Stuart Jackson makes the observation that while many internet start‐ups have crashed, most of the biggest e‐commerce successes have come from established companies with a loyal base of customers who have added internet capabilities to supplement traditional channels. Traditional retailers and B2B businesses who have yet to grasp the full potential of the internet have untapped opportunities to create what might be called “net shareholder value” by using the Internet to supplement existing channels. The author proposes four key strategies for companies considering going down this path.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson considers a number of the assumptions that were used to justify massive (and in many cases, outlandish) valuations of Internet businesses in the late 1990s. Jackson then evaluates the extent to which each of these has been proven true in the light of recent history. The author then draws lessons that can be applied broadly across any business considering e‐commerce strategies to supplement existing channels to market.

Findings

Companies should not think of e‐commerce as a separate business from traditional channels. E‐commerce and off‐line businesses selling the same products are competing in the same strategic market segment. Competitive advantage will go to those who can achieve overall scale benefits (taking account of customer acquisition costs as well as physical infrastructure and operating overheads) superior to the competition. In most situations, the best way to achieve this will be through an integrated offering leveraging multiple channels.

Originality/value

By looking in detail at e‐commerce successes and failures and the reasons behind those, this article provides valuable lessons for companies in how to increase competitive advantage and create shareholder value by leveraging the Internet for their business.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Stuart E. Jackson

Successful growth strategy has a lot to do with careful preparation to identify attractive markets and new sources of customer value and competitive advantage. If the plan

Downloads
2355

Abstract

Purpose

Successful growth strategy has a lot to do with careful preparation to identify attractive markets and new sources of customer value and competitive advantage. If the plan for achieving growth includes acquisitions, then we also have to consider company valuations and the availability of suitable acquisition targets. A challenge for many companies is knowing when and how much to adapt their strategy in the light of specific acquisition opportunities that become available. If a poorly‐performing competitor becomes available at a modest price should we try to adapt our strategy to take advantage of the opportunity? If the price for an attractive acquisition is bid up beyond expectations should we walk away or try to find a way to pay what the market says the company is worth? In this article, Stuart Jackson shows how successful acquirers combine both strategic discipline and a willingness to react quickly to market opportunities, an approach he calls strategic opportunism.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson draws lessons from leading private equity investment groups, some of whom excel at this approach. To illustrate his points, Jackson uses the example of Snapple Beverage Corporation, a company that has been acquired four times since 1992, twice by private equity investors Thomas H. Lee and Triarc, and twice by corporate owners Quaker Oats and Cadbury Schweppes. Each owner brought different organizational priorities and different capabilities to add value to the business.

Findings

There is a huge disparity of returns for companies investing in the same business during different periods. The clear implication is that for a successful growth strategy involving acquisitions, companies need to get both the strategy and the timing right. This may require adjusting the strategy in light of opportunities that arise, and taking steps to align organization priorities and incentives.

Originality/value

By comparing the very different acquisition approaches of corporate and private equity investors, the article provides valuable insight into how private equity investors are often able to deliver strong performance even without the benefit of substantial synergies, while corporate acquisitions often fail to deliver attractive shareholder returns.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Stuart E. Jackson

Most business leaders buy into the logic of differentiating their products from those of competitors, and of offering more complete solutions to customer needs. But what

Downloads
2034

Abstract

Purpose

Most business leaders buy into the logic of differentiating their products from those of competitors, and of offering more complete solutions to customer needs. But what if you find that other competitors with stripped‐down offerings are gaining share? Does that mean you should abandon efforts at differentiation and switch to a simplified, low‐cost product? If so, what should you do about customers who say they like the more complete, higher‐value offering? In this column, Stuart Jackson considers a number of examples where companies have disaggregated their service offering to create a menu of options that appeal to a wide range of customers. The author then proposes four key questions for companies considering going down this path.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson considers service disaggregation strategies for companies in a number of different industries, including retailing, airlines and software. Jackson then draws lessons that can be applied broadly across any business considering tiered levels of services and pricing as a new source of profitable growth.

Findings

Most companies want to offer more complete solutions to customer needs with all sorts of added features “built‐in”. This makes sense only as long as the large majority of customers really value all these features. If not, companies should examine ways to disaggregate their service offerings and broaden the range of their customer appeal.

Originality/value

By looking in detail at when taking away product features or charging more for specific services does or does not make sense, this article provides valuable insights into how to understand and predict when changes in service offerings will support increased competitive advantage and value creation.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 11 September 2007

Stuart E. Jackson

At some point in their career, almost all managers will find themselves in a business that is under‐performing relative to expectations. But how do we know whether the

Abstract

Purpose

At some point in their career, almost all managers will find themselves in a business that is under‐performing relative to expectations. But how do we know whether the expectations are reasonable? How can we tell whether we have an operational problem that requires operational fixes, or a strategic problem that may require a more fundamental change in how we go to market? In this article, Stuart Jackson shows how the concept of strategic market position, together with detailed competitive benchmarking, can provide the keys to answering these tough questions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the example of luggage company, Samsonite, Jackson shows how in the past, across the board cost‐cutting failed to deliver substantial profit improvements while stifling growth. However more recently, insights into how Samsonite's costs compared to industry peers together with a recognition of the company's untapped strength as a global competitor, have led the company to redesign its overall business model.

Findings

Overlapping regional functions have been eliminated and economies in global sourcing have enabled increased spending to rebuild marketing and sales. The result has been both expanded bottom‐line profitability and an acceleration of the company's growth.

Originality/value

Discusses Samsonite and its redesigned business model.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Stuart E. Jackson

The purpose of this paper is to show that most retail and franchise businesses have the goal of rapidly expanding to create a nationwide or even international network of

Downloads
3701

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that most retail and franchise businesses have the goal of rapidly expanding to create a nationwide or even international network of outlets. Achieving that goal requires more than just having an appealing offering that works in one city. Business leaders need to determine a pathway to national presence that takes account of the geographic scale economics for their particular business. Some businesses will benefit from rapidly going national with simultaneous growth in many regions of the country. Others will benefit from a much more measured approach, building strong scale advantages in one region before expanding into the next. In this column, Stuart Jackson considers examples of both business types and offers lessons to help companies decide which type of growth strategy is right for them.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson considers the expansion strategies of two different retail businesses, Starbucks coffee shops and Staples office supply stores. Jackson looks at how each business expanded and considers their different sources of competitive advantage and scale economics versus competitors. He then draws lessons that can be applied broadly across multi‐site businesses.

Findings

Just because you have the ultimate goal of being a nationwide or global player in your industry does not mean that the best way to get there is to open outlets as fast as possible across the country. Companies that take care to build competitive advantage at each stage of their expansion will enjoy higher profitability, even if growth may be slower at times. The pay‐off is that they will have the resources to sustain continued growth into new markets and win the struggle to create value for investors.

Originality/value

By looking in detail at local and national benefits of scale in the retail industry, the article provides valuable insights into how to understand and predict which geographic growth strategies will maximize long term success and value creation.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 4 July 2008

Stuart E. Jackson

Manufacturers and product suppliers with a strong market share in their selected segments often enjoy good profitability but find it hard to achieve strong growth without

Downloads
1577

Abstract

Purpose

Manufacturers and product suppliers with a strong market share in their selected segments often enjoy good profitability but find it hard to achieve strong growth without diversifying into new product segments where their established competitive advantage may no longer apply. One tactic to overcome this problem is for companies to expand the functionality of their offering to provide a more complete solution to customers' needs. In this column, Stuart Jackson considers a range of examples where companies that started with an emphasis on manufacturing or distributing product have successfully broadened their offering to include a range complementary services. The author then proposes four key questions for companies considering going down this path.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson considers service expansion strategies for companies in a number of different industries, including medical products, retailing, printing and photocopying, package shipping, processed foods and IT. Jackson then draws lessons that can be applied broadly across any business considering value added services as a way to provide new sources of profitable growth.

Findings

Just because you have exhausted opportunities to gain market share in your selected industry segment does not mean you need to diversify into unrelated markets in order to tap new sources of growth. Adding new services that provide a more complete solution to customers' needs can be a way to add new revenues from your existing customer base while at the same time cementing a deeper relationship with customers that can differentiate your firm from competitors. However, this path is not for everyone and may only make sense if the opportunity meets certain key criteria relating to customer needs, competitors and management capabilities.

Originality/value

By looking in detail at when value added services do or do not make sense, this article provides valuable insights into how to understand and predict when new service offerings will support increased competitive advantage and value creation.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Stuart E. Jackson

Downloads
1470

Abstract

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Stuart E. Jackson

Most business executives understand the importance of offering good value for money to their customers. But sometimes they do not put enough thought into how customers

Downloads
962

Abstract

Purpose

Most business executives understand the importance of offering good value for money to their customers. But sometimes they do not put enough thought into how customers perceive value. This is particularly true in today's recessionary environment. Executives need to communicate clearly how and why their offerings are good value for customers. In doing so, they can help customers overcome resistance to discretionary spending and improve perceptions of value versus alternatives.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson considers a number of case examples of businesses that have improved their price‐value perceptions by adjusting their product offerings in subtle ways that help communicate value. Examples industries cited in the article include food service, retailing and the auto industry. The author then draws lessons that can be applied broadly across any business considering strategies to communicate the value of their offering.

Findings

Companies should proactively communicate the value of their products or services, particularly during recessionary periods when customers are more wary of discretionary spending. This involves developing innovative programs change how the purchase occasion is perceived, providing rational arguments for why the purchase makes sense and addressing customer concerns. The companies that do the best job of communicating the value of their offering will be rewarded by retaining customers during downturns and will reap the benefits of even higher spending when the economy recovers.

Originality/value

Business managers have always recognized how price and value are critical considerations in purchasing behavior. This article extends that thinking to reinforce how small changes in how a product is configured or positioned to consumers can lead to big differences in value perception. Executives who recognize this can manage effectively through recessionary periods and help build long‐term shareholder value.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 31 October 2011

Stuart E. Jackson

The author has previously written about the concept of “strategic market position.” Simply stated, SMP is a strategic discipline which ties together the principles of

Downloads
2125

Abstract

Purpose

The author has previously written about the concept of “strategic market position.” Simply stated, SMP is a strategic discipline which ties together the principles of customer preference, producer economics, and corporate finance and helps companies understand when and how increased market share leads to stronger competitive position and higher profitability. This enables businesses to make smart decisions about where to expand and go after increased market share – and, conversely, where not to dig in deeper. Customer Market Position (CMP) carries SMP down to the individual customer level. It keys off the extra value inherent in what the author calls “prime customer relationships.” This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The author discusses the benefits that accrue to businesses that have a high CMP with customers that account for the majority of their business. He cites a number of case examples of businesses that have reinforced their commercial success through closely managing their relationships and share of wallet with key customers. Examples of businesses in the article include medical products, e‐commerce and traditional retailing. The author then draws lessons that can be applied broadly by any business.

Findings

The author proposes four key applications for businesses wishing to apply the concept of CMP: benchmarking CMP against competitors to understand strengths and weaknesses; assessing profitability for customers in different tiers of CMP to stop subsidizing less loyal customers; identifying untapped potential to build further business with high‐CMP customers; using CMP as a leading indicator of future performance when making investment decisions.

Originality/value

This article sheds light on the economics and value of nurturing a business's most loyal customers and introduces a new metric to manage and monitor this.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Stuart E. Jackson

Many product organizations recognize the benefits of outsourcing manufacturing of key components or even entire product lines to China and other low labor cost countries

Downloads
1542

Abstract

Purpose

Many product organizations recognize the benefits of outsourcing manufacturing of key components or even entire product lines to China and other low labor cost countries. But while the cost savings are obvious, many product companies fail to grasp the parallel risk of their own distributors or retailers by‐passing them to source products directly from offshore suppliers. The author discusses case examples of companies that do a good job of anticipating and addressing this threat through a range of approaches to building strong connections to end customers. The author proposes six key strategies for companies in this situation.

Design/methodology/approach

In this article, Jackson cites a number of case examples of businesses that have built strong connections to end customers even though they typically reach these through distributors or retailers. Examples industries included in the article are durable consumer goods and medical products. The author then draws lessons that can be applied broadly by any company concerned about the risks of distributors or retailers sourcing private label product directly from off‐shore suppliers.

Findings

The author proposes six priorities for defending against disintermediation by distributors and offshore suppliers: acknowledge the urgency of the threat; reinforce brands; find new ways to link to customers; look for mass‐customization opportunities; enter into creative partnerships; be serious about services.

Originality/value

This article sheds light on the risk of disintermediation for product companies using offshore suppliers, and strategies that can be used to mitigate this.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

1 – 10 of 791