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Managers often struggle to determine why their firm is underperforming relative to its rivals. This article outlines how managers and consultants can use an existing strategy tool, Kim and Mauborgne’s strategy canvas, to robustly test whether their firm is underperforming because it is (1) properly executing the wrong value proposition’s delivery or (2) failing to properly execute the right customer value proposition’s delivery. Once the issues with the firm’s value proposition and its delivery activities are correctly diagnosed, the strategic value curve analysis tool assists in developing recommendations to improve the firm’s profitability. The article concludes by describing how the authorssuccessfully used the toolto help a consulting client complete a review of its strategy.
5. Advantages and limitations of strategic value curve analysis
It is difficult for managers to know whether they have the right value proposition and the right process to deliver the value proposition. Examples such as Blockbuster, Blackberry, and Nokia underscore the repercussions if managers do not quickly identify and address problems with the firm’s customer value proposition. The strategic value curve analysis tool outlined in the article is a straightforward method that managers can use to evaluate and improve their customer value propositions and delivery processes. The advantage of this tool is that it is customercentric, externally focused, easy to employ, and provides the firm’s senior management team and its board a target value proposition that it can use to monitor the firm’s progress. The main disadvantage of the tool is that it only diagnoses and helps repair problems relating to effectiveness of the firm’s customer value proposition and its delivery. The tool does not diagnose the efficiency of the processes that deliver the customer value proposition. In addition, we would caution managers to use external data to support identity and ranking of each of the firm’s customer value proposition’s attributes, where possible. If managers use the wrong attributes or mistakenly over-rate the customers’ perceptions of the value delivered, it will struggle. Managers also need to remain attuned to enhancements to rival’s and substitute offerings, improvements in production technologies, and changes in consumer tastes so that they correctly forecast the future value proposition of their strongest rival.