Why decathlon? Because it is the most versatile competition in sports – excellence in a decathlon championship is a perfect balance of individual strengths and weaknesses.
in order to understand where and how to improve, you need to understand, how improvement is measured: what are the metrics, what is important, how are results in disciplines combined etc.
business organisations should know the relevance of aspects of your company´s offering from the target group´s perspective: avoid the risk of thinking “inside-out” – rather consider your target group´s opinion (outside-in). This saves costs and time!
In decathlon, just like in all Olympic disciplines, the comparison with your direct competitors is what defines your performance. Thorough analysis is necessary.
know your competitors – outperform them in the disciplines which really count. Just like in sports: analysis is a necessity because at first you need to know where to compete: what´s important to the target group (Consumers or Retailers) and where are strategic opportunities.
no one is equally talented in all 10 disciplines – therefore it is important to know where you are good at and where your weaknesses are.
be aware of your competitive strengths and weaknesses – from a consumer as well as a retailer perspective. To achieve this you should ask your target audience for an evaluation of your performance in direct comparison with your competitors. This could be on brand/ products issues (consumers) or on business relation topics (retailers).
define an optimized to-do list based on points 1-3: either improve your competitive strength or close the gap in your competitive weaknesses.
take the insights on your performance in a competitive context as well as the importance of aspects of your offering into account, discuss findings with involved business functions, align with your strategy – and roll out an action plan!
check and analyse the results and development you achieve. Consider your competitors´ developments. Try to find out the drivers and barriers of your competitive performance.
measure developments by asking target groups for feedback on a regular basis, e.g. once a year.
Let´s stay in the business world: we know, it´s easy to nod reading the list above and thinking about consumers.
However: when it comes to your more complex (and most often more important) target audience, your retail partners, this is not the same thing:
There are seven “disciplines” that need to be handled in order to succeed in business relations with your retailers:
There is more than one concrete competence in each of those seven disiplines. E.g. in Supply Chain: a brand has to offer a high service level, high repeat order capability, deliver the orders on time and delivery deadlines have to match retailers´ requirements.