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Return to the core.

A world in repair craves strong brands. They are the lifeblood of our economies. They ensure that employees are paid and that families can keep taking care of themselves.

The economic recession is forcing many companies to reinvent themselves - or at the very least to rethink their strategy. This does not have to be a painful process. Even today there are opportunities to get through the crisis unharmed.

Here’s our key advice to corporations - focus on your core competence. Tip: it’s neither your core business, nor your best-selling product. It is your gift, the one thing you excel at as a company. The core competence of Apple is not to build computers, but to make technology user friendly.

Finding your core competence is not a conservative thing to do. In fact, it is an opportunity for innovation. Only companies who truly know themselves can go forth and pioneer new markets.

Schema core competence
Schema core competence

Business seeks narrative.

Fauconnier+Selfslagh has a crystal-clear purpose. We grow the value of brands - by defining their core competence, boosting their growth potential and shaping their narrative.

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The development of a brand narrative is so much more than what is referred to in the marketing bubble as storytelling. A story is about facts, events and happenings. A narrative is about a world view. It gives a brand an identity. And it guides thoughts and actions, which leads to consistency in all business functions: R&D, marketing, communication, sales and human resources.

A brand narrative is the outcome of a process you might call linguistic design: defining the language and concepts that distinguish one brand from another. Brands who control the language will control their category.

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No law states you must have competition.

We are big fans of blue ocean strategies (copyright: Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim): withdrawing brands from overly competitive markets where the blood flows (red oceans) to seek markets that are still undisputed (blue oceans).

When we reflect with you on your corporate strategy, we do so by keeping two blue ocean convictions in mind. One: market boundaries are not a given but can be reshaped. And two: the smartest way to sidestep the competition is to avoid the competition.

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Schema Blue Ocean strategy