Real – Differentiation… More, Better, Different

Real – Differentiation… More, Better, Different

June 5th, 2013 // 11:36 am @

Real – Differentiation… More, Better, Different

Today, I’d like to talk with you about being different.  More specifically differentiating yourself and your business from all other options.  First, why this is important and second, three ways to do it, finally, the most important part about differentiating that most everyone misses (and is where the big breakthroughs and hidden profits occur). 

You should know differentiating doesn’t always take a lot of effort, it can be the slightest of nuances, the change in sales process, location, marketing strategy, heck even purpose of what you are selling.  I was recently in New York and if you have never been, you gotta go, just for the overwhelming feeling of the concrete jungle as it’s appropriately called. 

In that city money, value, wealth, opportunity is everywhere – its everywhere, its everywhere, I’m telling you it’s crazy.  And worth the trip just to see it, feel it, watch it in person. 

This isn’t about New York, rather just that competition in certain areas is more fierce than others and you have to find the best and most effective and profitable ways to differentiate.  Now, there are two major ways to differentiate, one is for your own purposes in terms of how you make money, meaning that you can change your business to serve only a small percentage, say the highest end customer, example limos, town cars, SUVs versus ordinary taxis, (and the three I mentioned first breakdown even smaller).  You change the business on your side of the equation which affects your marketing, selling and getting customers, but it’s not directly, necessarily related to how you differentiate to the end consumer. 

We will talk about that next week.  That’s more interesting for the sake of money, but today, the other way is to your customer, the end consumer, meaning how do you stand out or show up differently to the customer to get their attention so they come to you versus anyone else. 

This is critical because this is what determines your ability to charge more, grow faster, not get into a pissing match over customers and prices like, say gas stations, and into a battle of who is cheaper, plus it leads to referrals and many other benefits. 

Okay, how do you do it.  My three simply shortcuts.  One is to look around at all of your competitors and figure out what they are doing and then do “it” or several things incredibly better, and this is the word of the day – obviously – better.  That is the secret sauce to differentiation it must be OBVIOUS in whatever way it is presented. 

This is the hardest way, the “do it better” strategy.  But still good and sometimes the easiest place to go first. 

The next is also not that difficult although there are reasons why it could be.  It’s the “do something more” strategy.  Meaning that you look at all of your competition and see what they are NOT doing and then you go and do that. 

You will often see something that you just can’t believe “they” don’t’ do, do it, and others will take notice.  Careful on this one because they say pioneers are people face down in the dirt with arrows in their back, but someone always has to be first.  If they aren’t doing it, maybe no one came up with a way to make it cost effective, or maybe no customers cared about it, either way there is profit here, and it’s usually a fast and easy way to go. 

The third one is of course the best and it’s to do something entirely different.  Maybe find a new “reason” or purpose for what you sell or your services.  This is like a new translation to some old way. 

I don’t want to get into next week’s lesson but this leads right into it.  This is looking around and being the obvious differentiator in the market place.  I will give you examples next week. 

Today, the difference between the first and second.  In New York we took a carriage ride in Central Park, of course.  You have to, especially when you don’t live there.  Well, they are lined up everywhere…so how do you choose…?  That is the question. 

My answer was simple.  I passed by some drivers in regular clothes for a driver in a top hat and passed him by for a driver in full fancy European style clothes with accent (couldn’t help that part) and costume to match the occasion.  I wanted the full experience.  This person understood that he could get more money by being “authentic” and making it an experience instead of just a ride around the park. 

He was obviously different, matching clothes to carriage to horse, he stood out.  That is an example and he got attention and a premium.   

Make the list now of all the things you are doing that are different, that make you stand out, if your list isn’t long enough – do more.  And most importantly look for the big ones… is there one that you can stake your claim on? 

Here is my rule and one of my favorite sayings…what are you doing 


…Than anyone else in your market place.  That covers all three of my differentiating shortcuts.  Now here’s the deal… and the most important lesson. 

It doesn’t matter if you can answer these questions, your customer has to be able to answer them.  They have to be OBVIOUS differentiators.  Not hidden. 

There is no profit in someone not knowing what is different about you, on the customer, marketing, outside-looking-in perspective.  You have to be your own biggest, shameless promoter and shout from the mountain tops why you are the best, how you are MORE, BETTER, and DIFFERENT, and then everyone else will do the same. 

This is worthy of you constant refinement, improvement, and attention, this is where you get rich in your marketing…because you have something worth while to talk about, to promote, to market.  The best marketing in the world won’t fix lame delivery or same-as-everyone-else way of doing business or serving your customer. 

As Jack Trout has written… differentiate or die.

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