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The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy by Cesare Mainardi, Paul Leinwand

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CHAPTER SIX

PRODUCT AND SERVICE FIT

At any level—from regional office to division to enterprise—a company’s most visible aspects to its customers and the rest of the outside world are its products and services. It’s not surprising that most companies define themselves this way: “We are a car company,” managers say, introducing their firms. “We are a phone company.” “We sell accounting services.” Even companies that migrate to other businesses in a coherent manner still retain their original identity: IBM and Apple are still referred to as “computer makers,” and Disney as a “cartoon company,” even though all three companies do so much more with the same capabilities system.

Internally, product and service categories are even more closely tied ...

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