Mar 2 2010

Tactics Without Strategy


by Andrew DiFiore

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

There has been a lot of noise these days. Everybody clamoring for the quick fix. Today it is social media, tomorrow it will be something else.

Who has time for market research? Why bother with brand development? Quite frankly, who understands this stuff anyway? Let’s just throw <kittens> against the wall and see what sticks.

Ah, here’s the rub: tactics without strategy just don’t work! I’m sorry, did I stutter? Tactics without strategy do not work!

There is a “perception” that strategy costs money but in reality strategy is an investment that makes a business successful. It is not an exact science and often requires experimentation to get right but without it no business can grow.

Sure, you can discount your product or service but statistically this tactic fails to retain any kind of real market share after the “sale” if over. Customers (and clients) always return to the names they trust and in the end all you’ve accomplished is to lose money and cheapen your brand.

Last week, Millward Brown released a study of the top performing brands in the US based on “trust” and “recommendation”.  Amazon.com scored the highest with 123 while FedEx was a close second with 122 and UPS rounded out the list at #10 with a score of 118 (two strong B2B brands). You can view the full report here.

So, what makes these companies so trustworthy in their customer’s mind?

What strategies and tactics are you employing?