ET BrandEquity.com brings part nine of Strategygrams weekly series.
This week’s Strategygram is part of the collectible series created by brand strategy consultant Sattar Khan. Each Strategygram condenses a strategic thought into a single image. The series is a visual tour of strategic thinking and provides handy picture prompts for your branding workouts.
The Strategygram titled “Timing Beats Speed” recognizes that as a society we are becoming increasingly dependent on speed: faster responses, faster innovations, faster pivots. But the true value of speed is always in timing.
Hamlet would have understood the dilemma of brands and companies today: first mover or fast follower, fast or slow, now or later. Unfortunately, even humanity’s accumulated wisdom enshrined in axioms cannot help us determine perfect timing. For every golden rule promoting a rhythm, there is an equally wise meter.
As singer Willie Nelson wryly observed, “The early bird may catch the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”
How, then, do we navigate successfully between the Scylla of being too early and the Charybdis of being too late?
How can we be the person who, in the words of the poet Paris-Maree Boreham, is
“The timely arrival
With a powerful presence
Others in awe.
When is the right time for a brand to enter or – let’s not forget – exit a situation? We certainly can’t just wait; should we also initiate?
Your friendly neighborhood fortune teller may be willing to reveal auspicious heavenly timing in return for the favor of reducing the weight of your wallet, but as a strategist, you’re bound to come up with a more rational and robust response. You can do this by triangulating three aspects of your situation: readiness, receptivity, and rivalry.
First, the preparation. How ready are the elements you need, such as technology capability, ecosystem development, distribution channels, intellectual property, talent skills, to configure an attractive offer?
Second, responsiveness. Are people mentally inclined to adopt your solution to achieve their aspirations? You won’t always know the answer for sure in advance – people weren’t clamoring for smartphones before they were introduced, much like the saying “it’s not the customer’s job to tell you what they want” . You will need to detect the potential for movement and assess the trajectory using indicators, proxies and experiments.
Third, the rivalry. Who are the current, likely and possible candidates in this competitive space? When this fight gets messy, will you have the muscle?
These three analyzes of readiness, readiness, and rivalry will give you a head start in determining the right time for your specific situation.
There is no certainty, only the learning of humanity: bad timing kills good ideas; good timing saves bad ones. It never changed.
Check out this week’s Strategygram below:
Check out the first eight Strategygrams: “Speed Kills”, “Half Bridges Don’t Work”, “No Contest”, “The Silent Clue”, “Who’s For Lunch?” ‘, ‘Competition Is A Monster’, ‘The Distinctive Sells The Difference’ and ‘Strategy as a Story’.
Sattar Khan can be contacted at [email protected]