The first step is for the company to know its customers by making sure consistent communication between management and customers occurs, more commonly known as a "customer-centric approach" (Longo). Second, it is important to create products where domestic production would be most beneficial for U.S. customers, and identify opportunities for products that would be best produced globally. This process, according to Longo, is known as "competencies analysis." Finally, a target consumer base must be developed in keeping with future marketing trends. Longo also suggests that it is important to evaluate the competitive intensity of companies in the same or similar fields, both local and foreign, and to involve customers in the planning stages of new products.
One important factor in keeping up with Information Technology (IT) changes in the present economy is the willingness to create partnerships and mergers in order to stay ahead of progress. DuPont, long known as a scientific corporation, has now emerged as one of the most innovative companies in the technology field following its collaborative partnership with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Accenture. DuPont's key outsourcing objective to deliver reduced costs for its IT operations and applications maintenance has been achieved at a rate of between six and eight percent lower than the projected baseline (DuPont).
Until the late 1980s, Canadian steel company Dofasco competed on price by producing as much steel as possible at the lowest possible prices. However, in 1992, it found itself in debt and losing money. The "competing on cost" strategy was not working, and the company realized it had to refocus by developing new and innovative products and providing its customers with solutions for high-quality and specialized applications. The business strategy was called Solutions in Steel and focused on operational excellence, technology, and innovations, as well as intimate customer relationships. By 2000, it was No. 1 among North American steel suppliers. McGraw Hill has included the Dofasco vignette in its sample study (Steelmaker, p. 2) as an example of the importance of formulating a successful business strategy.
There is no doubt that cost and price are two important factors in succeeding in business, but they cannot be the only factors involved. As noted above, pricing strategy is dependent on innovation, cooperation, partnerships, and updating information technology.
In marketing, a positive public image does more for a company than offering more for less in the price field. Once the image is established, customers will be willing to pay higher prices for a dependable known brand. One example is Maytag, established for all time as the best appliance a customer can buy. Although partly due to a low-key television ad in which the Maytag repairman never has anything to do, the product has shown itself to be almost maintenance-free in operation. The words "made in Japan" were at one time indicative of low-quality products, but Japan turned things