Unless you know what you are trying to achieve then it’s really hard to tell when you have got there.
In cricket, the perfect delivery for a bowler is legitimately bowled ball that pitches on the exact spot that they aimed at and moves through the air and off the ground exactly as they intended.
For the batsman it’s a ball on which they have perfect sight, and pitches where they expected with a reliable predictable bounce that enables them to place the ball through the field under their complete control.
It’s unlikely that Bowlers and Batsmen will ever agree on any delivery being perfect for them both. Yet both need both to strive for perfection for the game to be a success. Batsmen exploit imperfections, bowlers practice to remove them.
In business, the game is the market. As businesses we need to provide the highest quality most appropriate products and services to our customers so that they get precisely what they sought at a price that gives us an acceptable return on the investment to provide it.
As customers we want a product or service to be personally precise and as close to zero cost as possible, as that maximises our utility from it.
Not that different to cricket, we have to compromise. for the market to work, Customers either have to accept less than perfect utility through higher prices or less than perfect utility in lower quality. In return, higher quality people will pay more, and if you make your market positioning clear, you can segment the audience to the right groups for your business model, ask Waitrose and Lidl.
As businesses we have to have clarity of our purpose, and how we want to position that in the market to be sure that we are consistent with those values and how they are applied. If we are we’ll attract the right audience, and then we can define and build clarity around the key activities that perfectly deliver what we have promised yet deliver the return on investment that we need.
Cricketers exploit imperfections in the bowling line that mean they get more from the delivery than they otherwise would have, customers exploit imperfections in product design that do the same thing, but in business there’s another aspect, customers get to choose who to take delivery from, so you better make sure that your product is providing a better utility for your target audience than anyone else in the market.
When you find your pitch, you had better be ready to play at your best.