Firing bullets and cannonballs to disrupt the market and delight the customers in the world of hyper-competition

By Professor J. Aditya of WSB

The role of strategists in a company should be increasingly transforming in the constant world of disruption and hyper-competition. Strategists need to constantly change unique selling propositions of their companies to ensure that growth of their companies is in tandem with delighting the customers. Customer delight is about acquiring raving fans instead of just satisfied customers.

Strategy is about engaging in a different set of actions. However, the different set of actions may become the norm in the marketplace and any company that is engaging in those sets of actions is no more in the practice of innovation. Therefore, strategists in a company should be iconoclastic by firing metaphorical bullets and cannonballs by not only utilizing key resources of a company but also designing radically new processes to disrupt the markets and delight their customers. Disruption in the marketplace provides a plethora of new offerings for customers and new business models for companies. Furthermore, disruption in the marketplace is necessary to ensure that companies do not experience a parabolic trajectory in terms of growth.

In future, there is a high probability that there will be competition between business models of companies rather than competition between products. Hence, in this blog, there is a proposition of competitive strategies such as the process of firing metaphorical bullets and cannonballs.

The process of firing bullets:

The firing of metaphorical bullets is the process of jettisoning the activities that become redundant in the marketplace. The act of firing bullets is also the process of forcing other companies to change their strategies. Companies that merely dodge bullets will be in the equilibrium position in the best-case scenario and will be unable to survive in the marketplace in the worst-case scenario. Furthermore, in the process of firing bullets, companies will be able to penetrate new markets and frontiers to acquire and delight new customers.

In order to jettison the activities that are redundant, strategists might question whether a company might flip the order in which they perform their activities. Furthermore, a leap into unexpected ways of performing activities may force companies to change their activities.

The process of firing cannonballs:

The firing of a metaphorical cannonball is the act of flinging numerous unexpected elements in the marketplace to dominate the competitors thereby accelerating the pace of disruption in an economy. The unexpected elements could be a stream of strategic actions, market experimentation and breakthrough innovations. Companies that react to the metaphorical cannonballs will be in the process of stagnation in the best-case scenario and will be out of the marketplace in the worst-case scenario. Instead, companies need to look beyond the horizon and be proactive in their actions.

Therefore, just like innovators and entrepreneurs, strategists in a company need to abandon dysfunctional practices before other companies fire cannon balls. However, cannonballs fired by a company should be calibrated in order to beat the competitors, failing which the cannonballs will land in the wrong zone, meaning that the new elements may not truly stand for substantial innovation.