The Seven Strata of Strategy to Help you Define your Business

Business strategy is the number one focus of companies across the globe this decade. Many are rethinking their fundamental approach to quickly changing markets.

“The challenge is balancing all the complexities of strategy while keeping it coherent and simple,”
― Verne Harnish, Gazelles International Founder.

The challenge is balancing all the complexities of strategy while keeping it coherent and simple. Your strategy must tell a simple story, yet touch on what Gazelles call the Seven Strata of Strategy. Every business must master and integrate the following Gazelles checklist.

The Gazelles Seven Strata of Strategy

1. Choose the words you want to own in your marketplace

If you don’t know how you want your customers to find you, then don’t expect them to track you down.

2. Offer a unique brand promise

This is the experience you are promising your customers that differentiates you from the competition.

3. Make it hurt to break your promise

There should be some pain in your system if you let your customers down. This keeps your team laser focused on keeping your promises.

4. Create a one-PHRASE strategy

Underlying the brand promises you express is a one-PHRASE strategy that drives your business model. This isn’t necessarily a selling point you make to your customers, but it supports delivering on your promises.

5. Support your one-PHRASE strategy with differentiating actions

Underlying the one-PHRASE strategy is a set of specific actions that represent HOW you execute your business differently from the competition.

6. Establish your “X Factor”

To establish and hold onto your competitive edge, you need to aim for at least a 10x underlying competitive advantage over your rivals.

7. Measure your profit per X and BHAG

And lastly, there is a key metric that defines the essence of your business model and is tied to your long-range goal. Jim Collins calls this metric your Profit/X and it benchmarks your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).

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