Strategic Triangle

What is it?

Strategic Triangle is a framework to describe a company’s strategy

Strategy Triangle
We must describe our strategy specifically

It answers the most important questions in a strategy:

  1. What are we going to sell?
  2. To Whom are we going to sell?
  3. Where will we sell?
  4. Why these customers will buy from us rather than our competitors
  5. How we will deliver this value and make money
  6. Why we bother?

The first three define our competitive battlefield

Our Value Proposition must be answered from our customers’ perspective

The final two questions take an internal perspective on our own organisation – what makes us special?

When is the strategic triangle useful?

Use the strategy triangle at multiple points in developing your strategy:

  • In competitive analysis, to map your competitors strategy
  • In your company analysis, to describe your current strategy
  • In generating alternatives, describe each alternative strategy with a different triangle
  • In describing strategy, to articulate your chosen strategy

An Example of a strategic triangle?

SouthWest Airlines has a very clear strategy. Key aspects:

The only serve price conscious customers who want a point-to-point shorthaul service on US routes.

  • They sell online and ATMs at the airport, avoiding the commissions and bargaining clout of travel Agents
  • Customer not only pick them because they are cheap, they are also very reliable and offer friendly service
  • They manage to deliver their low cost through standardisation – every route is “cookie cutter” A to B  on the same plane. This leads to very efficient operations, grounded in their route planning. Their high productivity and friendly service is achieve through their recruiting, induction and staff develepment within a strong service culture.
  • The founder, Herb Kellerer, imbued the organisation with a proud purpose to serve the customer.

The internal organisation has a close fit with the external market value SWA is trying to achieve, making it very hard for competitors to copy them.

How can you adapt this concept?

A version of the strategy triangle useful for start-up ventures is the Osterwalder Business Model Canvas.