Four stages of strategic grief

As companies watch customers migrate to their competitors, they typically go through four stages of strategic grief:

  1. Dismissal: "Those customers weren't that important to our business anyway."
  2. Sadness: "How could our customers leave us?!"
  3. Relief: "At least we don't need to worry about satisfying those customers anymore."
  4. Dread: "What if more competitors enter the market?"

Don't try to be all things to all people. If you're a company that caters to a broad set of customers with diverse needs, be careful when a competitor starts narrowly targeting some of your existing customers. While it's tempting to adjust your operations to keep your customers from leaving, you need to be sure that you don't end up jeopardize your existing business in the process. Be unapologetically bad at things that don't matter. Focus on the things that do.