In these uncertain times, businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many establishments to adapt and find new ways to serve their customers. One such example is Oisa Ramen, a restaurant in Boston that has never offered off-premise orders before. However, they are rolling with the situation and explaining to their customers how to order takeout. This proactive approach is commendable and can serve as an inspiration for other businesses.

Glasp

Glasp

Jun 29, 20235 min read

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In these uncertain times, businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many establishments to adapt and find new ways to serve their customers. One such example is Oisa Ramen, a restaurant in Boston that has never offered off-premise orders before. However, they are rolling with the situation and explaining to their customers how to order takeout. This proactive approach is commendable and can serve as an inspiration for other businesses.

Adapting to the current situation is crucial for businesses to survive and thrive. The DHM (Delight, Hard-to-copy, Margin-enhance) model can provide a framework for businesses to navigate these challenging times. It starts with understanding how your product delights customers, both now and in the future. What sets your product apart from competitors? What unique value does it offer to customers? These are important questions to consider.

Creating a hard-to-copy advantage is another crucial aspect of the DHM model. How can you differentiate your business in a way that is difficult for others to replicate? This could be through unique technology, a strong brand, or building trust with customers over time. Oisa Ramen, for example, is leveraging their reputation and customer loyalty to successfully transition to takeout orders.

Margin enhancement is the final component of the DHM model. It involves finding ways to increase profitability and maximize returns. This could be through price and business model experiments. Oisa Ramen, for instance, may explore different pricing strategies for their takeout menu to ensure they are maximizing their profit margins.

One powerful example of a business that has successfully implemented the DHM model is Netflix. Their personalization technology is a prime example of a hard-to-copy advantage. By analyzing the movie tastes of their 185 million members, Netflix can accurately predict streaming hours for each potential title. This allows them to "right-size" their investment in original content and effectively delight their customers. This level of personalization is hard for competitors to replicate, giving Netflix a significant advantage in the market.

Building a strong brand is another important aspect of the DHM model. It requires delivering value consistently and earning the trust of your customers. This is something that Oisa Ramen has been able to do over the years, which is why they are successfully transitioning to takeout orders during the pandemic. Their customers trust them to deliver a quality dining experience, even if it is in a different format.

Network effects and economies of scale are two more hard-to-copy advantages that businesses can leverage. Network effects occur when the value of a product or service increases as more people use it. This is evident in platforms like social media, where the more users there are, the more valuable the platform becomes. Economies of scale, on the other hand, refer to the cost advantages that businesses gain as they increase their production levels. These advantages make it difficult for competitors to match the offerings of a business.

Counter-positioning is another powerful strategy outlined in Hamilton Helmer's book, "7 Powers." It involves offering customers something that is impossible for competitors to match. This could be a unique feature, a different pricing structure, or a completely new approach to solving a problem. Oisa Ramen's pivot to takeout orders is a perfect example of counter-positioning. They are offering their customers a convenient and safe way to enjoy their delicious ramen, while many other restaurants are struggling to adapt.

Switching costs are yet another hard-to-copy advantage that businesses can capitalize on. When customers invest a significant amount of time, money, or effort into a product or service, it becomes difficult for them to switch to a competitor. This could be due to the integration of the product into their daily lives or the familiarity they have developed with it. Businesses can leverage this advantage by creating a product or service that becomes an integral part of their customers' lives.

Lastly, the DHM model highlights the importance of captured resources as a hard-to-copy advantage. This could be in the form of patents, proprietary technology, or exclusive partnerships. These resources give a business a competitive edge and make it difficult for others to replicate their offerings. Patents, in particular, provide a clear example of this power. Oisa Ramen may not have a patent, but they have captured the resource of customer loyalty, which is just as valuable.

In conclusion, the DHM model provides a comprehensive framework for businesses to navigate these uncertain times. By understanding how your product delights customers, creating a hard-to-copy advantage, and enhancing margins, you can position your business for success. Oisa Ramen's proactive approach to transitioning to takeout orders serves as an inspiration for other businesses facing similar challenges.

Three actionable pieces of advice to implement the DHM model are:

1. Conduct a thorough analysis of your product or service to identify its unique value proposition and how it delights customers. This will help you understand your competitive advantage and how to leverage it effectively.

2. Explore different strategies to create a hard-to-copy advantage. This could involve developing unique technology, building a strong brand, or leveraging captured resources. Consider how you can differentiate your business in a way that is difficult for competitors to replicate.

3. Continuously evaluate and experiment with pricing and business models to enhance your margins. This may involve testing different pricing strategies, exploring new revenue streams, or finding ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

By following these three pieces of advice and implementing the DHM model, businesses can adapt to the current situation and emerge stronger than ever. The key is to be proactive, innovative, and customer-focused.

Resource:

  1. "#1 The DHM Model", https://gibsonbiddle.medium.com/2-the-dhm-model-6ea5dfd80792 (Glasp)
  2. "How to Talk to Your Customers About Coronavirus - On the Line | Toast POS", https://pos.toasttab.com/blog/on-the-line/coronavirus-restaurant-customer-communication (Glasp)

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