Even the most successful companies often find their annual planning efforts devolving into a rut. Where flagship products are “king”, the strategic plan tends to be a roll-up of product plans. Instead of re-thinking business models and go-to-market strategies in response to a dynamic market, planning often ends up as a projection of current business into the future as a basis for establishing next year’s budget. In turbulent markets, such “business as usual” plans and strategies mask a growing risk to the future prospects of companies that see themselves as leaders who need only continue what’s worked in the past in order to succeed.

Part of the problem in this lack of robust planning and strategy lies with a common misuse and misunderstanding of the seemingly straightforward concepts of “business strategy”, “market strategy”, and “product strategy”. This misunderstanding also relates to the relationship and alignment of these three types of “strategy”. In Part 1 of this two part article we redefined how business strategy and market strategy relate, introducing the concept of strategic planning starting with market strategy, and business strategy addressing everything a company must do to operationalize its market strategy. In Part 2 our focus will be on the proper relation of product strategy to market strategy.

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