Strategic Planning: Who are your customers?

When you study strategy, strategic management and other aspects of forward view of the organization you come across a lot of models and frameworks.

You have Porter’s “Five Forces”, the Boston Consulting Group’s “Growth-Share matrix, the Balanced Scorecard, the innovation funnel, the Harman Fan, and more besides. You no doubt have favourites, have perhaps massaged some of them to fit your circumstance, even seeing one or two as meaningless.

Well, Derek Abell’s perspectives on customers stands out to me.

Derek taught and performed research at Harvard Business School, and the same in Europe. From 2003 he was establishing business schools throughout Eastern Europe and Russia as well as consulting to many international organisations.

His theory, which has been established in practice, is basically when looking at your customers, there are three components:

  • Customer needs
  • Customer groups
  • Distinct competencies that you have in meeting these needs

So, who are your customers, what are their needs & what do you bring to the table?

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