Introduction: A New Strategy For a New Era

Why did venerable car insurance giant Allstate start offering more features and customer choices that went against conventional risk practices?

How did Best Buy manage to thrive even as its biggest competitor, Circuit City, went out of business?

How did Ball Park Franks, which its parent company Sara Lee was considering deemphasizing in 2005, become one of the nation’s hottest consumer brands just two years later?

How did Bud Light Lime become one of the fastest-growing new beer introductions in the last thirty years?

What gave the CEO of Hershey’s the confidence to share his competitive strategy with the entire food industry?

The answers to these questions reflect a fundamental shift in the relationship between supply and demand in the global economy. It is a shift from a supply driven economy to a demand driven economy. It is a shift that requires a new set of strategies and tools.

The centuries old definition of demand is a simple one: quantity sought at a given price. But experience has taught us that demand is much more complex: Demand is what customers possess in terms of the needs and desires—emotional, psychological, and physical—they want satisfied, and have the purchasing power to satisfy. For companies, demand is ultimately about profit. At the end of the day, whoever satisfies demand the best, profits most.

In the pages ahead, we will explain and illustrate the dynamics of demand more thoroughly, all in service of the three goals of this book: 1) to help you understand the forces behind the shift from a supply driven to a demand driven economy; 2) to help you develop the business strategies required by that shift; and 3) to provide you with the tools for executing that shift.

Using case studies drawn from our consulting work with clients and other demand driven companies, we will show you how companies are winning in the demand economy and how you too can win, no matter what sector or part of the world your business operates in.

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