Business Model v Business Strategy v Business Plan

24 11 2012

I had the pleasure this week of working with an internet start-up company to help them focus on what they need to do to grow the company. The real focus of the workshop was to help them understand their Business Model. If the model was clear then planning would become clearer and the strategy would be verified.

We used the Business Model Canvas created by Alex Osterwalder. The nine blocks of the Canvas gave us a great structure to keep the discussion focused. The key points I took from the day include:

  1. A logical journey from segmentation and value proposition through to communication channels to resources. This allowed us to move through the workshop in a structured way and, as the facilitator, I found it very easy to keep the discussion flowing.
  2. Excellent that it all led to revenue. In our pre-workshop preparation the point was made that many businesses failed because they failed to understand where the revenue was coming from. This process was truly commercial because all roads led to revenue.

In addition, in the de-brief afterwards, the suggestion was made that you could do a canvas for your main competitors or possibly for a specific market segmentation. One to note.

Banks aren’t all bad

24 05 2012

This is an excellent campaign from KBC Bank in Belgium. Not only does it show the bank in a good light it also helps to do real good and create a sense of community. A huge step up from the typical “if you ‘like’ our Facebook page we will put you in a draw for some tickets” approach to engaging with customers. Well done to TBWA Brussels and KBC.

The ghost of Ireland past

11 04 2012

While visiting a hotel, which shall remain nameless, over the weekend I saw this sign and thought it really captured where we were as a country and where we are today.

Oh the problems of owning a helicopter

Edelman Trust Barometer 2012

27 01 2012

The Edelman Trust Barometer, which was launched yesterday, threw up an interesting paradox. We are concerned about the way in which business is regulated. We want more regulation of business and we want better regulation of business. Presumably this is to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis we are currently going through. So where is the paradox? The paradox is that we trust our governments, who are meant to be carrying out the regulation, even less than we trust business. Interesting!

In general, the barometer shows that we are less trusting than we used to be. That is not surprising given that the institutions that we placed most faith in have let us down badly over the last few years. The good news from a business perspective is that Irish people still have a reasonable trust in business with only a marginal fall in the levels of trust recorded.

What can business do increase levels of trust? Respondents indicated that the key drivers of irresponsible behaviour are:

  1. Poor management
  2. Unethical business practices
  3. Shortcuts that lead to poor quality

If a business wants a high level of trust from its customers then it needs to be aware of these three areas.

Full details of the survey are available from Edelman.

Long term planning brings Emirates to Dublin

25 01 2012

I interviewed Tim Burnell, VP of Corporate Communications at Emirates, after the January Marketing Breakfast. Tim spoke at the Breakfast about the recent launch of Emirates service from Dublin to Dubai and the marketing campaign to promote the new service.

A key question I was curious about was why Emirates chose Dublin and why now, given all the economic turmoil we are currently struggling with. Tim’s answer was that Emirates had been working on this of a long number of years and had excellent research on the potential of the market. Emirates are taking a long-term view of the development of their network and Dublin is another ‘piece of the jigsaw.

What encouraged me was that Tim and Emirates did not feel that Ireland as a brand or a place to do business had been damaged by the financial crisis. His attitude is that we are not the only ones who have problems and that problems will pass. He pointed out that Dubai itself is on the road to recovery. I think it is encouraging that globally we are still held in high regard.

If you want to listen to the entire interview please click here: