Too many businesses think they are distinct because they see themselves as different. Here’s why these businesses have to revise their thinking:
First and foremost, how a business sees itself or wants to be seen is irrelevant. It’s the customer’s perspective of how they see it that matters.
Second, and just as important, being different is not the same as having a distinctive presence.
Difference in and of itself is polarizing. Emphasizing what makes a company “different” immediately invites competitive comparisons. Consumers measure and evaluate so-called differences against their other options. Being in the marketplace today is easy, but being found and selected is not. Regardless of your industry, it’s tough to stand out in any marketplace, whether it’s local, national, or global. Even if your business is the only one like it, you need a distinctive presence-one that the consumer understands and recognizes.
Being truly distinct requires that every facet of your business from initial messaging to end deliverables is customer-centric. When a business is truly distinctive — by being solely customer-focused — customers flock to it.
In W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s landmark book Blue Ocean Strategy, the authors make a compelling case for having a distinct presence rather than trying to compete head to head.
A business that is customer-centric establishes an emotional bond with its customers, who in turn drive more customers to the business through positive word of mouth – think Whole Foods, Disney, or Victoria’s Secret. A business focused solely on its customers and what they want to accomplish is operating with clarity of purpose – a marked change of pace from the constant confusion and chaos caused by working under merchandizing pressure to make the bottom line.
Ask yourself and your team: Do you see and describe your work on behalf of clients or customers as different or distinctive?
For additional insight and action steps on how to be distinct check out PowerofWhy.net
This guest post is courtesy of Richard Weylman, Weylman Consulting Group