230. Play to Win at Digital-Channel Change. Or, Play Not to Lose?

Have you seen teams take the lead with little time left? They then switch to prevent play and try to milk the clock. But, the other team goes up-tempo, takes nothing-to-lose risks and wins. Why not play relentlessly to win and beyond by being a perpetual innovator?

Two Scenarios:

The pace of digital-channel change is accelerating. Is your company changing in step with the expectations of the next-gen buyers at your best accounts? Or, are you too busy hustling at the status quo? “Playing not to lose” by:

  1. Sticking to the knitting and avoiding any mistakes
  2. Pushing substitutions to commodity brands that pay bigger rebates
  3. Trimming costs and depreciating assets
  4. All to make monthly numbers and pay steady, lifestyle-dividends to shareholders

What are “Playing-to-Win” Distributors Doing? 

  1. Getting customer profitability analytics
  2. Ranking customers by net-profit.
  3. Identifying the ones that are also: most innovative; faster growing; and open to new buy-sell system solutions.
  4. Surveying these best customers to redefine and improve basic, service metrics. And, to provide digital, virtual and personal services as desired: 24/7/365 (on their phones!)
  5. Thinking big (let’s invent a win-win, sole supply relationship), but acting small. Doing experimental learning with one best, amenable customer at a time.
  6. Eventually creating new services that can be productized and scaled.
  7. Surveying key suppliers about their omnichannel, direct-to-end-user engagement strategies. Then, offering to collaborate (v protesting) with these new end-customer-centric necessities.
  8. And, feasting on competitors Playing Not to Lose!

Reweave – Channel, Business and Selling – Models

An analogy: assume your business model is like a cat that now needs to bark. Putting a dog’s larynx into the cat surgically is folly. The bigger vocal cords need: more wind; bigger lungs; a bigger rib cage; etc. You need a dog. Relevance? Tacking a better, web-selling site on to your old business model is not sufficient.

But, 99% of a cat’s chemistry could be reincorporated into building the dog. Why not reduce your business model down to elemental costs for every service activity to then re-build customer-centric replenishment solutions for key, willing customers? Forerunner distribution channels (drug, grocery, hospital supply) did this when their entire customer base flipped to wanting – customized, open-book, cost-plus, services à la carte for fees -solutions. Then, add digital and virtual tools as needed.

Seek to partner your best customers. Their subsequent growth will grow you too!