Strategy is an abused word in Australia as it is often confused with tactics. You can be regarded as strategic even if all you do, is vary the price of your products.

Strategy is all about choice, choosing to do something or choosing not to do something.

Michael E. Porter puts it like this:

" the essence of strategy is choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are much more difficult to match."

Porter's HBR Article can be found here.

Getting to the strategic purity of Porter's is difficult for most companies as the hardest thing is to say no to some customers. However I have run across one Australian company that does not have that problem. ASP Plastics of St Marys in Sydney run by managing director Paul Brennan has a clear idea of what they do and don't do:

  • They do NOT take business from their competitors. They do NOT compete on price.
  • They DO find new niches and exploit them. If exploiting the new niche requires new skills, they find them.
  • They do NOT get emotionally attached to any product. If its attractivesness falls, they walk away.

This is a simple list of "What we do and What we don't do" but it is working for ASP as parts of its business are growing at 300%!