after two years of work with two ex-Procter & Gamble colleagues, my first book appears:
In the words of Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Publicis Groupe, "A must-read for all marketing and advertising people. Particularly in these challenging times."
Get your copy today!
Get your copy today!
We just issued this press release:
“The Impossible Advantage” is a new book about business strategy which could not be hitting the shelves at a more appropriate time. Today’s unprecedented global financial and economic crisis in fact offers extraordinary opportunities to those who understand how to employ unconventional, breakthrough thinking in order to generate exceptional growth in the face of the most daunting of obstacles.
An ancient Chinese proverb says that when the winds of change blow, there are those who build walls and those who build windmills. How companies can turn the “headwinds” of today’s financial crisis to their own advantage is the subject of a new book from international business consultants Andreas Buchholz, Wolfram Wördemann and Ned Wiley entitled “The Impossible Advantage – Winning the Competitive Game by Changing the Rules” which will be published by John Wiley & Sons on January 16.
“Uncertain or even overtly critical market conditions sometimes offer the best opportunities to uproot conventional rules of the game and to put in place dynamic new power relationships,” argues Wolfram Wördemann, co-author, founder and manager of the management consultancy Buchholz-Wördemann Partners outside of Frankfurt am Main. While the market declines overall during periods of crisis, the authors observe that at the same time customers tend to “speed-change” their attitudes, values, and preferences in a dramatic fashion, something unthinkable during good years. This can create unique opportunities for those players who act quickly to acquire a previously “impossible advantage” over their competitors.
During the current
mega-SUV crisis, for instance, Japanese manufacturers like US and Honda exploited the sector’s collapse to overthrow the hegemony of US manufacturers and vault their more economic “wannabe” SUV – ennobled and celebrated as the new Crossover generation – to “impossible” heights. “Crises can turn hopeless losers into lasting winners”, the authors say. Now would be an ideal time for managers and entrepreneurs to go back to the drawing board and determine how to create an “impossible” competitive advantage – delivered by crisis – able to work for their own products, services, and brands. Toyota
“Nothing better demonstrates the weaknesses of accepted wisdom than a full-blown crisis such as that which is currently unfolding,” says Wiley, who runs a new media operation for the Axel Springer publishing group. “When the strategies of the so-called Big Players are shattered and strewn, chances arise for new entrants or smaller participants to fundamentally change the rules of the game.”
The authors distinguish four success strategies that companies can employ during a crisis or recession to dethrone old market leaders and achieve a breakthrough. What is particularly exciting is to witness how even small or medium-sized firms are able to take control of their markets and to force larger competitors to play the Game by totally new rules.
Buchholz, Wördemann and Wiley say that their new volume constitutes a first “guidebook” to help individual companies intervene in the rules of the game in their markets, especially in these difficult times. By challenging those previously accepted rules, they are able to acquire a truly “Impossible Advantage” over previously dominant competitors. The new approach makes use of Game Strategy, which is a novel way of thinking, analytical tool and strategic instrument, all in one. Game Strategy starts where traditional competitive strategies leave off, especially those that are based on the classic models of Positioning, Differentiation and Unique Selling Propositions. “Conventional thinking accepts the marketplace rules as part of the untouchable general conditions,” according to the authors, “but for those who know how to intervene in those rules, they can become the most powerful levers of all for growth and success in the marketplace.” And there is no more perfect time to start than in the midst of such turbulent market environments.
Buchholz, Wördemann and Wiley have been active participants for decades in the development of growth strategies for national and international brands, sectors and companies. “Almost anyone can achieve a turnaround in their market or unleash a revolution,” says Wördemann. To this end, the authors have developed four distinct Game Strategies that every firm can use to acquire more influence and control, and gain the upper hand in the competition. Even when they are not currently among the market leaders, quality leaders, innovation or price leaders. By working with Game Strategy, you don’t necessarily need a spectacular product innovation, huge budgets or the power of as multinational concern. As Wiley concludes, “Marketplace revolutions don’t always take place inside research and development labs, but sometimes around the conference tables of the best strategists.”