Comparing apples and oranges



apple oranges

You can’t compare apples and oranges, they’re just not the same thing.”… All you get is mixed fruit!  It’ really an unresolvable and ultimately useless comparison? Not for strategy making, where it may be a hasty generalization. As an entrepreneur, that’s what very very often you have to do. In facts the real question is ”Why are you trying to compare those things?”

While writing a business plan, while you are taking a difficult decision you are often confronted with several issues and, sometimes you are forced to choose between apples and oranges. And then they can be both the same and different simultaneously depending on your point of view. And the one of your stakeholders.

Picking up a supplier, assessing a service platform, making a choice between a traditional or unconventional way of providing a service or a good it ‘s confronting with sometimes totally different and alternative logic, with different ways to produce value.

Apples and oranges, therefore. It can be a comparison which is just as easy to support as it is to criticize.

An apple or a orange it’s also another way to discuss the substitute product dilemma.

Substitute good or services are those that can satisfy the same customer needs or can give similar benefits  (tea or coffee, fax or mail, airco or fan, train or airplane)

In the end the choice for substitute product depends on the the perception/psychology of the customer

So is for apples and oranges.  The choice is then based on psychological assessment and there is a very subtle line between them. Sometimes, the difference between failure and success for strategy.

So we are forced to puzzle with criteria to assess the alternatives…

What criteria might you then use when comparing apples and oranges? There are a very large set of criteria and tools  to perform such a task and moreover ever changing according to time and market conditions Let’s formulate criteria, describe items, determine key similarities and differences, and reflect on lesson learned. Of course, you don’t have to rush into the comparison before you know the characteristics of what you are comparing!

Tangible criteria: size, shape, weight, texture, color, ripeness, juiciness, nutritional values

Intangible criteria: perception of taste, smell, brand, feelings, experience, country of origin, sustainability

Support factors/criteria: quality, availability, packaging, cost, offer, compatibility with other foods/products, durability

By the way…or maybe the best choice is not choosing??? Maybe, thinking out of the box, apples and oranges can be integrated in just one picture?

Can you think of other criteria?  it’s a good exercise!!!!

6 pensieri riguardo “Comparing apples and oranges


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