So what is the Rubicon Process & Strategy and how does it work in Change Situations?

Why would your company want to embark on it?

Who needs to be involved?

First let’s look at four levels of strategy positioning that businesses take in virtually every market in the world:

Level One Operational Efficiency:

This is not really a strategy at all. It’s more a battle for survival and often a race to the bottom. It’s a kind of non-position that most small and medium enterprises default to. The vast majority of companies in every industry operate with a commodity type mentally and believe business is about prices, customer transactions and getting sales to pay the bills.

Remember, the vast majority of start up or smaller enterprises go out of business within two years and many more survive on the border line for longer than that before throwing in the towel. This is a sad fact of business life.

Level Two Traditional Strategy:

Level two companies fundamentally believe that it’s a product battle between you and your competitor. They accept that their company will win some sales and loose some sales.

Their fundamental approach is to keep chasing customers and accept that customer attrition is normal and natural. The four Ps of marketing Product, Price, Place, Promotion and the economic law of supply and demand are the fundamental strategies for survival and growth.

Level Three The Rubicon Strategy:

Level three is a systems thinking approach that can take your company from being a good level two product performer to being a great ‘value solutions’ company. It’s a breakthrough strategy that puts your competitors firmly where you want them totally sidelined.

This allows you to work with ‘the picture in your customers mind’ rather than being distracted by competitor pressure and other, real or imagined, market place nonsense.

At the very heart of a level three strategy is an appreciation of value.

Level Four The Odyssey Strategy:

This is a unique strategic approach based around partnerships, alliances, networks, collaborations which dramatically seek to leverage business to an extraordinary level and perhaps from the local or national to a global concept.

Value as you know’ is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder’. Value and price of course go hand in glove.

A higher price is easily justified when quality, expertise, experience, reputation and value are factored into a sale.

‘A good price’ is long forgotten when poor quality and product or service problems emerge after the delivery or installation.

The poet John Ruskin wrote these famous words many years ago:

It is unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money and that is all. When you pay to little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was purchased to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to ask something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better’.

The challenge for many business owners is that the vast majority of consumers are programmed to be price buyers today in a commoditised world of choice and accessibility.

Creating a strategy that deals with this challenge is the essence of the Rubicon approach. Consider whether you want to be the one in five companies who step away from their competitor?

Crossing the Rubicon is a metaphor for moving beyond the competitor pack and differentiating yourself and your business with a high calibre value portfolio you offer your customer.

Customer appreciation and customer relationship excellence is achieved by only 10-20% of all companies. The Rubicon Strategy is a whole company approach that requires a lot of leadership character and discipline around change and innovation.

Effectively, you move from being a product salesman to being a trusted advisor with your customer.

You move from hard selling/always chasing prospects to a professional partnership win-win type arrangement. You move from an emphasis on pushing and closing sales to allowing customers to make informed buying decisions based on their definition of value and their best interest.

This is the race to the top and in every industry everywhere there is lots of room.

There are classic examples of businesses all over the world that 80% of level two companies look at and read about and wonder how they have made the breakthrough to level three:

Ђў Look what Amazon did in the book business.
Ђў What about Starbucks in the coffee business.
Ђў Ryanair and South West Airlines in the airline world.
Ђў Lexus in the motor world. For example, Lexus unit sales only make up 3% of all Toyota cars sold but contributes 30% to their bottom line.
Ђў IKEA is another great story.
Ђў Curves have created a level three strategy in the gym business that is sweeping the world .
Ђў Jerry Kennelly created Stockbyte and sold it recently for a ‚¬135 million cash deal what a level three story.
Look around; these stories are closer to you than you might think. Following The Rubicon Strategy or similar is the secret. Competitors have great difficulty ‘getting at’ these kinds of companies.

Differentiation and a unique business model is the key.

Level Four The Odyssey Strategy:

This is a unique strategic approach based around partnerships, alliances, networks, collaborations which dramatically seek to leverage business to an extraordinary level and perhaps from the local or national to a global concept.

This is outside the box thinking and a completely new strategic model for reinventing your business strategy.

In a nutshell then, it’s not about the product which is a level one or two strategy that the vast majority of companies engage in. It’s about entering a market space ‘beyond the obvious’ that customers crave and your shareholders dream about. It’s a win-win strategy for customer and company.

Why don’t you enter this ‘race of one’ and leave your competitors stranded on the level two battlefield?

Delivering ‘good’ customer care is no longer good enough to gain strategic competitive advantage for your business. You must deliver Customer Service Excellence. Marketing management and innovation should focus every effort on an implementation strategy that achieves this goal.

How do you create long-term, sustainable, business advantage with customer service as the leadership focus? Talk to us, perhaps we can help you!

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