I keep getting reminded how old I am. Talking to a client the other day, I asked him if he remembered the old gym shoes called “Red Ball Jets” and he gave me a blank look. Before the days of Nike, and Adidas, and Puma and the now endless athletic shoe brands, there were only a few national brands. And one of them, focused on kids, was “Red Ball Jets.” Canvas all purpose sports shoes, with gum rubber soles, they came in white and black, and high top and low cut. And on the back of the sole, under the heal, was a red ball.
Their advertising slogan: “Run faster, and Jump Higher with Red Ball Jets.”
Back to your business and your strategy. Strategy experts tend to complicate strategy and it’s execution so much that strategy becomes extremely difficult to communicate and as a result hard to execute. So strategy defaults to doing the same as before, just doing it faster, and longer, and better. Sounds kind of like Red Ball Jets.
A “Red Ball Jets” strategy will work in a crisis situation, or for a short term situation, but it’s a poor strategy for long term growth. It’s expensive, it’s additive and not multiplying, and it wears everyone out.
Yes, you have to run faster and jump higher than your competitors, but that’s a given. But you need more.
Do you have a “Red Ball Jets” strategy? If so it’s time for some strategic thinking and execution planning for your business.
BTW: Red Ball is still in business, but not in the sneaker or athletic shoe business. I had a pair of Red Ball Jets. And guess what, I didn’t run faster or jump any higher in them than I did in my Jack Purcells, PF Flyers, or Keds.