The EXA Way Supplement

Using the Win Theme Ladder

Page 218


This Win Theme Ladder example demonstrates the win theme development process for a fictitious search and rescue (SAR) aircraft, the Condor, proposed in response to a fictitious RFP. The RFP factors aircraft cruising speed, payload, and range prominently in its rated technical evaluation criteria. Competitive intelligence reveals the Condor surpasses all competitors’ cruising speed, payload, and range, but the Condor price falls higher than competitors’ prices. The bidder’s win strategy relies on the technical score outperforming the competitors’ price advantage. Win themes become a valuable means to maximize the technical score.

The win theme ladder worksheet shows the progression from features to discriminators and the formulation of a win theme.

Product Description

The Condor is a special-purpose, tiltrotor, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft specifically built for SAR missions. The streamlined design includes only the equipment required for SAR missions. By shedding unneeded required in multi-mission aircraft, the lighter-weight Condor offers superior payload capacity.  The advanced turboprop propulsion system, composite material construction, and AI-augmented aerodynamic design offer better flight performance and lower fuel consumption compared to all other proposed aircraft.

We expect the Condor will be more expensive than competitive products, so it is imperative that we use the win theme ladder to maximize the technical score.  

Win Theme Ladder Worksheet

Before using this worksheet, the pursuit team conducted a brainstorming session to identify the top three to five features. Each surviving feature passed the VERTU test:

  • Verifiable
  • Evaluated by criteria
  • Rated (not mandatory) criteria
  • Technical criteria
  • Unique among competitors

The bid team chose cruising speed, payload, and range as win theme discriminators, because the RFP’s technical rated evaluation criteria factor those qualities prominently.

Win Theme Ladder Worksheet

Benefit Statements

The Condor’s long-range lets SAR crew search wider areas in less time and with fewer sorties, allowing the RCAF to locate distress sites sooner.  The Condor helps the RCAF save lives.

The Condor’s high cruising speed lets the RCAF arrive at a known location sooner; its long range lets SAR operators loiter on the station longer; and return to base faster with injured rescued people who receive medical treatment sooner. The Condor helps the RCAF save lives.

The Condor’s high payload capacity allows SAR missions to fly without requiring precious time to reconfigure the aircraft before each flight. Every flight carries all equipment and personnel required to accommodate any conceivable SAR scenario. The Condor helps the RCAF save lives.

***Disclaimer: The information presented in this supplement is for information purposes only. It is not intended, and may not be used, as legal or business advice. The author makes no representations of warranty, accuracy, or fit for purpose of the information herein. Use at your own risk.