A Half-Baked Strategy

Use this story if you need to show how important it is to think hard about what different kinds of customers really value, and what it will cost to service them. It might also come in handy if you need to warn against killing the goose that lays golden eggs before you’ve got a really, really good idea of where to find another one.

Many years ago, there was a bakery wholesaler with branches all around the country. This wholesaler – let’s call them BW – sold the main ingredients for breads and cakes, as well as a number of specialty additives. BW’s largest customer group, and its most profitable, were small-medium bakers including specialty confectioners; they also did a little business with keen home and craft bakers. One customer group they’d never had much luck selling to, however, were the very big buyers, like factory bakers and large bakery and fast food chains. Continue reading