Saturday, December 09, 2006

So what does Target do right?

It is not easy to put your finger on why the companies which do things right, get them right. I ascribe it to a closeness to the market, a sort of finger tip sensitivity and identification with the consumer. This does not mean that management has to be the same as the target market, but it needs to have a humility in listening to the market. As soon as a company thinks it has cracked the code and can do no wrong, it starts to falter. This is very difficult to reverse, as panic starts to set in. Toyota gets it right, GM does not. Toyota, while prospering, constantly is thinking of ways to do better. BMW does the same, while Ford allowed itself to become complacent. In retailing, Sears and A&P were behemoths standing astride their markets, until they started to take their consumer for granted. The old IBM did the same, and it took an outsider to the industry to change and save it.

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