How Companies Win: Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models No Matter What Business You're In Hardcover – Sep 23 2010
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“Recommended reading for executives facing the need to grow revenues in a sluggish economy.... Kash and Calhoun provide executives with the ideas they need to answer the question, where do we go from here.” (—Mark McDonald, Gartner)
“A persuasive case that winning in today’s market requires an understanding that supply-driven business models of the past will not keep pace with fundamental changes in our global economy and its digitally enabled consumer.” (—Jack Welch, bestselling author of Winning)
“The rise of social networks has amplified the individual’s voice and this has sparked a revolution in demand. How Companies Win offers real-world solutions that you can implement right now to take advantage of these changes.” (—Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook)
“With all of the options shoppers have today, it’s critically important to understand demand. It’s how you satisfy your customers better than your competitors. It’s the way companies will win.” (—Brian Cornell, President & CEO, Sam's Clubs)
“How Companies Win shows how to successfully manage in the future. Its fresh look at data and the case histories will stimulate the imagination of every business leader.” (—Mary Dillon, President & CEO, US Cellular)
“The authors’ discussion of Precision as the 5th P adds a powerful new tool for marketers. It aligns exactly with our strategy of precision marketing.” (—Joseph Tripodi, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Coca-Cola Corporation)
“Calhoun and Kash have taken on the biggest business question of all: what it will take for companies to win in this new era of growing oversupply and heightened global competition. The conclusions they reach are eye-opening. ” (—Henry R. Kravis, Cofounder, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts)
“How Companies Win is a book about learning to understand demand. If you are relying on your customers to tell you what they want it’s too late.” (LeadershipNow.com)
From the Back Cover
For the past twenty years, the growth formula for business has been to increase revenues by expanding product offerings and streamlining supply. But with the recent global recession, the world economy has changed forever. Now the old tools—most notably supply-chain management—are no longer enough. In a new digital age characterized by over-supply and too many product types in almost every market, the new challenge is to locate and capture the elusive pools of high-profit demand.
Rick Kash and David Calhoun have the answer: a revolutionary, demand-driven model that has already proved successful for some of the world's most admired companies, including Best Buy, Anheuser-Busch, Hershey's, and Allstate. At the heart of this powerful new business model is an achievable vision for a new kind of winning company, one that uses sophisticated new tools and techniques to discover, characterize, and then serve these pools of high-profit demand—and in the process gain pricing power in that market. Kash and Calhoun show how to use everything from social networks to more revealing and effective consumer-research techniques and then introduce the demand chain, the logical new partner to your supply chain. The authors' principles, case histories, and insights will help your business run faster, cut costs, and become better able to deliver high-quality products and services, even in the tightest economic climate.
How Companies Win is a compelling call to action to engage every level within a company, small or large, local or global.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The demand to which Kash and Calhoun refer "includes physical, psychological, and emotive components. Backed by economic purchasing power. Demand is both near term and longer term, not just the instantaneous fulfillment of a need...Demand is multidimensional in other ways and can be classified as current, latent, and emerging.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Just about every company's strategy is based on the idea that demand is greater than supply and all that they have to do is be better than the competition and the money will flow. Kash and Calhoun make a strong argument that the economy has shifted with more supply than demand. This simple shift changes the whole basis for enterprise strategy, marketing strategies, products and services. The impact of this change and how leaders are using this reality to their benefit is the subject of the book.
While the book is targeted primarily at Marketing Professionals, I recommend this book for executives looking to understand how to move forward and capture the markets that matter. Line executives will gain an understanding of the importance of addressing different market segments. Technology professionals will appreciate the role that information plays in defining the demand driven enterprise. Others will find the author's arguments providing an interesting view on what is going on in a world where traditional notions of strategy and competitive advantage are under threat.
The book is clear and comprehensive. The authors describe the process for creating a demand driven strategy and plans work. The results they achieve and sample deliverables. This discussion provides a clear view on the concepts they present and how they might apply to your company.
The book contains detailed discussions and case studies of leading companies like Best Buy, Hershey's, P&G and others. The cases cover both the decisions facing executives as well as the results they achieved. While case studies are common in business books the time, detailed and coverage are a strength of the book.
The book tackles complex issues that other actors assume away. I have read very few books that talk about issues like pricing, operational precision, etc. These discussions are helpful in taking a broader look at issues related to creating and demand driven organization.
The book considers the entire enterprise and its response to a demand driven world. The need to create a demand chain, new forms of marketing, the need for precision and operational excellence are all great points that make this a book that goes well beyond describing new ways of marketing.
The book is focused on providing a business based explanation of the challenge facing companies and its impact on top and bottom line revenue. While the book does advocate a set of techniques for becoming a demand driven organization, it never loses sight of the need to drive business results.
The authors come from a Marketing background and the techniques in the book are marketing centric. However, the issues raised living in a demand driven world go beyond revising your marketing strategy. The authors know this and look to address the points in latter chapters, but there is room for additional material and insight into the operational, execution and other issues involved in becoming a demand driven organization.
The authors are consultants who have applied their tools with leading companies across multiple industries. At times, the book drifts into branding which detracts from the message. It does not happen often, but when it does its noticeable.
The consumer products and food industry are among the first to experience the reality of excess supply and therefore they represent many of the case examples. While the authors acknowledge business to business commerce, it is not the focus of the book. that does not mean that the concepts do not apply in business to business. It just means that the reader will have to work a little bit to apply these concepts to this situation.
Overall, this book uses a different view of the relationship between demand and supply to create new forms of strategy, new ways of looking at customers and markets, and new ways to execute in a tough business environment.
In a world that has changed we all need new ideas and new tools. Kash and Calhoun provide executives with the ideas they need to answer the question, where we go from here
How Companies Win simultaneously manages to introduce a macro-level pivot in how businesses should think while serving as a tactical how-to guide for implementing that thinking. So often "strategy" books fail at one of those: either giving us a new lens with which to see the world (but no tools to act on it) or new tools to act in the world (but no understanding of why those tools are paramount). How Companies Win gives us both.
The pro and con of this book is that it covers so many aspects of winning. Everything is grounded in the same fundamental new truth - that winning today requires a disciplined understanding and segmentation of demand - but Kash and Calhoun show us how that principle should impact decisions across a business. That is to say, this is not a book about how marketing wins or how product wins or how sales wins, it's a book about how companies win. For some, that enterprise breadth may make this a challenging read, but for those who have the ability and the will to impact their business' winnability holistically, this book will resonate.
And that doesn't have to be a big business, really. One of the most compelling things about How Companies Win is that the authors' frameworks should apply as easily to my neighborhood's dry-cleaning shop as a major retailer. Kash and Calhoun default to big, household-name case studies, but a small business owner has just as much reason to pick up this book and start identifying their most profitable sources of demand. In many ways, it might even be easier to use this book's tools at the entrepreneurial level. (See: Kash's anecdote of selling shoes in college). Similarly, I agree with a prior review that a B2B could get more out of the book than this book than the case studies and endorsements would let on.
These days, most business books could be condensed into an HBR article, but I think How Companies Win has more steak to the sizzle. The tools are pretty simple and straightforward, but to apply them properly requires the thoughtful examination of demand-driven business that Kash and Calhoun present here.
There's the old adage that the man who knows HOW to do something will always have a job and the man who knows WHY to do something will be that person's boss. This book is for business thinkers who want both: the tactics to navigate a demand-driven economy and an understanding of why that's consequential.
The demand to which Kash and Calhoun refer "includes physical, psychological, and emotive components. Backed by economic purchasing power. Demand is both near term and longer term, not just the instantaneous fulfillment of a need...Demand is multidimensional in other ways and can be classified as current, latent, and emerging." They list the ten primary characteristics of a demand-driven corporation (on Page 9) and then shift their attention to a series of rigorous analyses of exemplary companies to explain
o How McDonalds, "a troubled and aging company just five years ago," found new life, continuous growth --- and new profits
o Why Allstate began to offer more features and customer choices that that were contrary to conventional risk practices
o How and why Best Buy thrived while its #1 competitor (Circuit City) went out of business
o How and why Bud Light Lime became one of the fastest-growing new beer introductions during the past 25 years
Yes, I realize that these and other exemplar companies discussed by Kash and Calhoun are among the largest global corporations. However, the lessons to be learned from them can be of substantial benefit to all companies, regardless of their size or nature. They may be even more valuable to small companies that have severely limited resources and much thinner margins for error, if any margins at all. Obviously, the major challenge is this: How to become a demand-driven business?
Here is a representative selection of what Kash and Calhoun examine and then explain, clearly and thoroughly:
1. How to master the skills needed to ask the right questions, obtain the right answers, and then take appropriate action.
2. What "demand gaps" are and how to reduce or (preferably eliminate them
3. In a demand-driven organization, what innovation is...and isn't.
4. What the opportunity identification process involves
5. What demand-driven pricing principles are and how to apply them
6. What the "Thesis of Winning" is, with Bill Walsh discussed as an exemplar
7. How to formulate and then disseminate an "Enterprise Message"
8. Why and how demand-driven strategies and tactics must also be customer-driven
9. "Fast Cycle Response Time"
10. Eight "tough questions" business leaders must ask/answer about themselves, their companies, their category, and their competitive marketplace
With regard to #10, Kash and Calhoun make excellent use of questions throughout their narrative, strategically inserting "checklists," admonitions (i.e. do's and don'ts), and mini-summaries. The various questions challenge their reader to think about what must be done and how to get it done.
In this context, I am reminded of other questions posed by Peter Drucker and Fred Reichheld that also focus on what is most important as opposed to what is merely urgent. All demand-driven leaders would be well-advised to consider five from Drucker: What is your mission? Who is your customer? What does your customer value? What results are you trying to accomplish? What is your plan? My person favorite among Drucker's quotations is this one: "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Asking the right questions will help to avoid making that mistake.
Here are two more from Reichheld, both very important: "Based on your experience with us, on a scale of one to ten, would you recommend us to others? Then, whatever score you receive, if it is less than a ten, you immediately follow up by asking: What would we have to do to earn a ten from you?"
It is easy to ask questions but sometimes very difficult to know what the right questions to ask are. Rick Kash and David Calhoun help the business leaders who read this book to do that and, better yet, they help them to obtain the right answers so they and their associates can design a design-driven model and then formulate a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective plan to make that compelling vision a prosperous reality.
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