Every group knows more—much more—than it thinks it does
INNOVATIVE STRATEGY DESIGN: A SuperS.W.O.T.™ is a powerful innovation session that unlocks intuitions about strategy by employing graphic exercises, quick provocative sketches, and questions designed to seek marketplace hunches.
How Does It Work?
We begin by asking participants to define their Competitive Landscape on a large Quad Map—where is your brand positioned, and where are your competitors? Now we ask: “Where do you expect to be in three years?” This is the 3-Year Strategic Path and it visually defines your strategic goal. Following this exercise, the group visually analyzes 6 to 8 Key Players (see “Sam” below.) Then we delve into your S.W.O.T. analysis and dig deep for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. As the session nears a conclusion, participants vote for the “Top-2” S.W.O.T. factors in each S.W.O.T. category. (The voting is almost always top-heavy and leads directly to strategic insights.) Finally, we begin work on your strategic Battle Cry. This is a short, motivating statement that will tell your people how to act—and your customers & prospects what to expect.
There are “4 musts” for a BATTLE CRY:
1) It must be focused on what customers want
2) It must ring true in the marketplace
3) It must be ten words or less
4) It must be memorable and “sticky”
What Makes SuperS.W.O.T.™ Different?
Your group's innovative thinking is not simply described with words—it is brought to life by being visualized. For example, as a customer is discussed, John Emmerling quickly sketches a cartoon and asks for a name. "Sam," someone might suggest, and the magic begins to happen: "Tell us what you know about Sam?” “Is he devoted to your brand?” “Or would he easily switch to a competitor's brand?” “What ideas could increase your brand's appeal to Sam?" One by one, important customers and other Key Players are sketched and profiled—a rich mother lode of insights is uncovered.
As "Sam" quickly takes shape, he gives us insights and ideas.
Who Is Involved? How Long? Where?
Conducted in your conference room, or at an offsite location, these sessions are typically attended by 12 to 20 key managers, although we've facilitated groups with as many as 30 participants. Participants usually include management, marketing, advertising, sales, research, public relations and communications. Invariably, this free exchange of insights and ideas is an enjoyable, stimulating experience for everyone. A session can require as little as four hours—on up to a full day.
The Session Report
At your option, within two weeks of the session a comprehensive report can be presented. Your group’s insights, intuitions, and innovations will be depicted and summarized—and the strategic directions suggested by your group will be highlighted. The report will include all Battle Cry candidates generated in the session and, if desired, we can include several additional Battle Cry candidates for your consideration. This report will be a tool you will use—again and again—to help keep your team on strategy with all eyes fixed upon the goals.
How Your Company Benefits From SuperS.W.O.T.™
We have facilitated a large number of these sessions across a wide range of industries. In every case, this process reaps your group’s combined knowledge and experience to reveal marketplace insights, create better customer understanding, and bring innovative focus to the company’s strategic planning. You can also gain the powerful advantage of a market-honed Battle Cry.
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“A superb marketer, John Emmerling, works both visually and verbally to help mine deeply buried information and insights.”
Digitas (Formerly Bronner, Slosberg, Humphrey)
“John Emmerling’s sessions led to a new branding direction—and a Battle Cry—for Falcon. It has helped us become the worldwide market share leader in sales of large-cabin business jets.”
Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
“The SuperS.W.O.T. session was an amazing experience for our company—and we can already feel the rich effects.”
and Myriam Zaoui
The Art of Shaving
Luxury shaving products
“In one meeting, John was able to take a fuzzy concept and focus it on objectives, target audience, next steps, pitfalls to avoid, and new opportunities. I’d use it again in a heartbeat.”
The PreTesting Co./Media Check
"Client execs can offer quick insight… Emmerling’s brainstorming sessions yield unexpected strengths, threats."