The dilemma of multiple Offers
How do we resolve the dilemma between "offering a large variety of Products in order to be sure of seducing all customers" and "reducing the number of Offers to simplify the running of our Enterprise"?
It is easier to multiply Offers than to reduce them: for marketing, adding an Offer means a new customer target or the modification of an existing Offer and thus an increase in revenue.But this multiplication of Offers generates complexity:
- Complexity of Producing many Offers
- Distribution complexity: are the sales reps able to integrate all the Offers? How do they present them all?
- Complexity of the After-sales service
- Complexity of the software which supports everything
- Stock management complexity
In short, the accumulation of Offers generates complexity, which has an Operational cost and harms Agility; it also breaks up the full resources of the Transformation, which is a rare resource.
This is why some enterprises make a point of honor of reducing their Offers. Apple, the company with the largest stock market capitalization, is a good example having reduced its offer to a smartphone, a tablet and a computer. Variants of these products exist, but they are very limited in number. The contrast with Sony is considerable; they propose computers, smartphones and tablets, but also portable CD players, radios, cameras, televisions, voice recorders, video cameras, medical material, videoconferencing systems,... and furthermore, they produce content.
Focus on what we know how to do best
We cannot be the best in all products.
It is not because we are able to Produce and Distribute a Product that we should: we have to ensure that we will be capable of doing it better than the competition over the long-term and that we focus our energy on the essentials.
One of the roles of the CEO of the Enterprise is knowing how to say "no" to the very many enticing initiatives put forward by the different organizational units of the Enterprise: this was Steve Job's strength.
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