Purpose – This paper outlines the use of quality function deployment (QFD) for strategic planning. QFD provides a comprehensive process for defining the issues facing an organisation in terms of customer and stakeholder outcomes, natural segments and key strategic opportunities. Design/methodology/approach – An explanation and overview of the two core stages of strategic planning using QFD are followed by three case examples. Findings – Strategic QFD avoids complex matrix analysis and instead moves directly to concept generation and evaluation. One of the main benefits of strategic QFD is the level of commitment and support for the resulting strategy throughout the organisation. This paper also shows how strategic QFD can be used to identify and optimise internal capabilities and to find and address specific customer opportunities. Practical implications – Strategic planners will find that QFD-based philosophy and methods are useful tools for the creation of a customer-driven strategy. Originality/value – This paper provides insight for practitioners and academics into how strategic QFD systematically translates vision into action, targeting opportunities and creating innovative strategies that are stable even in fast-changing environments.