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Strategies for a discontinuous future.












Thursday, September 25, 2003
 


Economist article talks about targeting fat people. the argument is that fat people are not losing weight, so there is money to be made in providing goods and services that meet their needs better (like big seats). This is very bad business advice. The fat-people firms (McDonald's, Kraft, etc.) have taken a beating lately - clearly, the market is sending a signal that people want to be thinner, not that they want to stay fat. If anything, the fat-people firms took too long to reconfigure their strategies to account for this, and now face massive competition that will be easier to co-opt than outcompete (i.e. McDonald's buying a stake in Pret-a-Manger). Lesson: Ignoring clear market signals is generally not good strategy - unless you have a clear means to reshape industry boundaries.

In fact, here's another article from the same issue that talks about consumer desire to be thin - and how the fashion industry, in a typically strategically braindead move, is naming big sizes smaller (i.e. a 12 becomes a 10), instead of doing something tactically meaningful - like actually focusing on how to help consumers either look thinner or succeed in losing weight. Lesson: Unless you're on Fox News, semantics generally does not create value.

-- umair // 6:34 PM //


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