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Manage your dependencies



One of the things that is harped into us at B-school is that a brand should manage the risks that arise out of depending on external agents for existence and growth wisely. This means diversifying the dependencies instead of relying on just one supplier or one marketing platform for the concerned activity. The moment you rely on just one supplier, you're crippled and can't ship your product if that supplier refuses to co-operate.

If you rely on just one platform for your marketing efforts, you will fail to get your message across if that platform changes policy. For example, if you're relying heavily on TV advertising and the rule allowing channels to show only 12 minutes of advertising per hour every hour kicks in, your costs are bound to go up and you'll have little leeway in avoiding those costs.

In fact, I personally faced a similar issue a week ago. For two years, a good chunk of the audience for this blog came from the student board of my B-school. Having graduated, I lost access to that board last Sunday. Had I been over-reliant on that platform to get my opinions across, I would have had to start from square one. But, I have been making use of several platforms, so I'm not as badly hit.

This has two lessons.

One, when it comes to the dependencies that are key to your existence and growth, you need to make sure that you aren't over-reliant on any one supplier or platform.

Two, when it comes to your value proposition, you need to strive to be the only one that your customer is reliant on.

Achieve both and you'll be one of the most successful brands ever. 

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