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5 books to read on Business Strategy

5 titles to deepen the theme of the conception and development of the strategic thinking of a business

A successful business strategy is the foundation of any successful business. It can be considered as the roadmap to success that helps define direction, processes and metrics. A good business strategy should answer all the questions about where your business wants to go, how it will get there, and what it will do along the way.

Corporate strategy is important because it is the foundation of the company's competitive advantage. It helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, assets, capabilities, priorities and goals. Without a clear corporate strategy it would be difficult for any company to achieve its goals.

The investment decision-making process should be carefully planned to increase the chances of success. The management team must identify what it is seeking to achieve with the investment, examine alternative opportunities and decide which has the highest probability of success.

A well thought out strategy is the key to success for any business. How come? Strategy is the bridge that connects an organization's resources and capabilities with its goals.

The competitive advantage

"Competitive advantage" is one of the great classics of contemporary economic thought, Michael Porter is one of the most influential thinkers on strategy of the last 50 years. He created a framework for competitive analysis that became known as Porter's Five Forces Model.

Porter's Five Forces Analysis is the basis for determining the strength of one's competitive position within an industry. This analysis helps determine what external factors could help or hinder a company's development and expansion with respect to its chosen business strategy.

The five forces originally identified by Porter are now generally recognized as competition, customers, suppliers, new entrants, and substitute products/services.

The competitive advantage framework has significantly influenced how companies analyze their competitive situation and develop long-term strategies to address it

Competitive advantage is widely considered the most important concept in business strategy and has been for decades. According to Porter, competitive advantage can be achieved in five ways:

– Cost leadership

– Differentiation

- Focus

– Integration

– Strategic positioning

The return of the Strategy

Are you a strategist? This is the first question Cynthia Montgomery poses to managers and entrepreneurs from all over the world who enroll in her legendary strategy program, one of the most famous courses at Harvard Business School.

Participants don't worry too much about it at the start of the day, but when they get to the end of the course they can no longer conceive of leading their business without being a strategist and living that role on a daily basis. What they learn is that the strategy is not only an analytical tool to overcome the competition (as has been believed in the last twenty years), but it is the most powerful means that a leader has in hand to design his business and overcome the difficult challenges that arise.

The book makes available to all those involved in the management of large and small businesses the valuable advice that Montgomery shares with his direct interlocutors and, distilling the experiences and observations gathered during the lessons, helps everyone to develop the skills and sensibilities necessary to become a true strategist.

The art of war for your business

Sun Tzu's The Art of War has inspired leaders around the world with his skillful strategies for how to prevail over one's adversary, however large or intimidating. Strategy, positioning, planning, leadership are crucial to beat the strongest rival. Similarly a small business can outperform the big business. And now, thanks to many innovative small business examples, this book translates Sun Tzu's classic into 12 lessons that reveal how to: choose the right field for your battles; prepare without falling prey to paralysis; hit the opponent in his weakest points; focus resources on winning challenges; go where the enemy is not.

Blue Ocean Strategy

Since the dawn of the industrial age, companies have engaged in a relentless battle to gain an advantage in the competition's bloody red ocean, filled with rivals fighting for an ever-shrinking profit potential.

But what growth prospects could they have if, instead, they operated without any competition, in an uncontested market space, with unlimited possibilities like those of a blue ocean? Ten years ago, "Blue Ocean Strategy" revolutionized the corporate world, with a new model for discovering uncontested markets ripe for growth and beating the competition.

Today, after more than 3.5 million copies of the book have been sold, translated into 43 languages, and the method has been adopted by thousands of companies around the world, the authors present a new updated and expanded edition - with new chapters and above all the answer to all those who wonder how to keep innovating when the blue ocean they created begins to turn red. A landmark that subverts traditional thinking about strategy, this book charts a bold path to winning in the future, a systematic model that any business can replicate to make competition irrelevant.

Strategic marketing

Since Marketing 3.0 spread the idea of "humanistic marketing" all over the world, new tools and advanced technologies have made it possible to collect more precise information about our customers: who they are and how they make purchasing decisions. Paradoxically, the analysis of big data makes it possible to create increasingly personalized products and services, and Marketing 4.0 authoritatively exhibits a methodology that allows customers to be accompanied on the path from brand awareness to brand advocacy.

In this new and eagerly awaited project Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, presents methods of concrete effectiveness with which to guide the customer in the various stages of his journey. The traditional path that leads to the purchase (aware, appeal, ask, act) is enriched with a fifth component, advocacy: because the opinions of our friends and family profoundly influence purchasing decisions. Let's find out how that influence is exerted, how we can address it and what strategies to employ to make the most of the personalization of experiences through effective metrics and innovative best practices.

Timely advice and intuitive explanations allow you to easily switch from a traditional mindset to a digital marketing-oriented approach, with useful tips to put into practice immediately. Summaries at the end of each chapter summarize the topics covered, making this book not just a handbook but a reference work, full of food for thought that sets the reader on a personal learning journey and helps focus group discussions to engage the entire company.

Radically transforming the way we think may seem impossible, but thanks to Marketing 4.0 you can immediately start to be successful in the parameter that still remains the most important today: the opinion that the customer has of you.

The world is changing and those who are successful learn to innovate their own products along with their own processes and at people.

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