What's Your Difference?
The World is a BIG Place - Don't get Lost!
In today’s crowded business market, getting recognized for your business strengths by the right customers is becoming more and more difficult. Google® and other online search engines have made the ever increasing competition easier to find, and advances in technology and the expansion of the global economy have made our potential business world much more accessible. Are you getting lost in the Google jungle? Instead of just competing against the company down the street for business, we now compete with others who provide similar services from around the world. To emphasize this point, Thomas L. Friedman in his book, The World is Flat, explained the urgency among creative businesses for serving new customers and how those companies are finding new ways with new technologies not only to compete better with companies from around the world, but also to use those companies to provide customers with a better product. Whether your target market is local or global, the problem and solution are just a matter of scale.
Why, for example, should a business in Tokyo, Japan use a design house in Phoenix, Arizona over someone much closer, or why should a particular company buy a custom computer from a local computer assembler rather than a Dell®? Whatever the geographic size of your "World," to you it is a big, important place. Knowing why your customers should come to you rather than to your competition, and making sure they understand why, is important. In fact, the more people who know why customers should come to your business, the more business you will have. Your customers and other businesses who use your services are your best sources for new business because they understand your difference best and can speak from experience.
Stand Out in a Crowd - Different is Best!
Without public recognition of why your business is different from (and better than) the rest, you are destined to compete for business based only on price. Creativity and Innovation are one of the three requirements for enduring business success. There will always be someone who can offer a similar product or service at a lower price - Always! But not everyone approaches business or business problems creatively or with your finesse. Kjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale in their book Funky Business emphasized the need to stand out from the crowd with this:
"The 'surplus society' has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices and similar quality."
Unless you give your customers, potential customers and business referral sources a reason to believe otherwise, to them you are just like everyone else. Don’t let price be the only difference people talk about. Give them something to talk about. Show them why your creativity and innovative approaches to problems can help them succeed.
Selling your products and services is like selling rice. Are the products and services you provide like plain rice which is so common that it has a commodity price at just pennies a pound on the open market? Or are your products and services more like Rice-a-Roni® The San Francisco Treat®, believed by the consuming public to be so much more valuable than just plain rice that it can sell for a few dollars for a 6.5 ounce box because of the convenient portion sized package, instructions and extra flavors added? Or are the products and services you sell more like the Masa® Restaurant in New York City, New York, USA, where people pay $300-$500 USD each for the opportunity to sit on the floor in a Japanese environment to have an unforgettable Japanese cuisine experience where they still only eat a few ounces of rice.
Be More than Just a Commodity – Tell Us Your Difference!
The value of your goods and services to your consumers and ultimately whether you are forced to price them like a commodity, or can price them as a convenience or an experience is based on consumer perception. It’s all about Perception! The rice served at the Masa® Restaurant at its core is no different than the rice sold on the open market, but the public believes that whatever has been done to it and the way in which it is served is worth spending hundreds of dollars more to have it. They believe that enough value has been added to the rice to justify going to Masa® for it regardless of the price. Some are convinced that the experience of the Masa® Restaurant or the convenience and taste of Rice-a-Roni® is worth much more than just plain rice.
Companies choose who they will do business with based on their belief that they have no better options for their situation at the time. Helping the public understand why your company and services are better and more creative than others, and why you are the best option for their situation (a convenience or even an experience rather than a commodity) is how you will get recognized for the value you are. It will bring customers to you who will be thrilled with your products and services because it fits what they need.
Solve Business Needs Better than the Competition!
Every business owner and manager wants to believe they are spending their business budgets wisely for the best service they can afford. Companies seek out new business referrals when they have a business need. They generally choose those referred business resources that will give them: 1) More Value; 2) Higher Quality; 3) Easier Life; 4) Time Savings; 5) Faster Response; 6) More Variety; 7) Better Service; 8) Lower Price; 9) Good Start Toward Success; 10) More Creative. What is it about your company that makes your customers excited to do business with you? What are the one or two main things that keep them coming back and paying you for your goods or services? What is your Difference?
Jerry Garcia, guitarist for the band The Greatful Dead®, said this about defining the Difference:
"You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do."
If your business is the only one with your particular talents or abilities, businesses will be seeking you out when they need that unique quality. Every company has something they do very well. There is some specialty - some unique experience or mix of people or ideas - some particular talent – in you and your company that makes you a perfect match for the right business partner. What is it? Does everyone in your Business Referral Network (your employees, your business partners, your business referral sources and your customers) know what that difference is and are they telling people about it?
Tell Your Difference to Your World!
The business world is desperate to find the best company to solve their business needs. They want creative and innovative solutions to problems and new angles on old solutions. If you tell the world what your strengths are, companies seeking those strengths will find you to learn more. The more your Business Referral Network knows about your business, the more they can use your strengths themselves, and help their own Business Referral Network and customers find you. The more the public knows about your strengths, the more quickly they can decide if what you have is right for them. A strong Business Referral Network of trusted companies suggests experience and the ability to succeed in filling business needs. Recommendations from other businesses that have worked with you before shows a successful track record of helping other businesses solve their problems. Bizogy® brings all of this together to help each company build the best Referral Network possible for their World. Strengthening Business for Everyone™.
You know why you’re so great - it is time to make sure the World knows it too!