Insight #5 - How Different Are You?

To achieve maximum success, your business must be substantially differentiated from your competition in obvious, explainable and meaningful ways. That means ways that are tangible, that intuitively make sense, and are believable, prior to becoming a customer.

Doug Hall from the Eureka Ranch suggests, you need to be differentiated in ways that actually give prospects a “real reason to believe” what you are telling them. A great example of how simple competitive differentiation turned a pizza store into a 2.5 billion dollar business was Tom Monaghan’s promise on behalf of Domino’s Pizza: “30 minutes or less or it’s free”. In a world where everyone else was just fast and tasty, that distinguishing promise with a financial guarantee created “real reason to believe” that built a fortune.

Positive and meaningful differentiation is a critical key to building and maintaining competitive advantage and serious profits. To earn the purchasing decision of a customer, a product or service only has to be a little bit better or a little more attractive or a little more believable. Clever and compelling differentiation can give you that winning edge.

Tip #5: Use differentiation to its utmost potential to gain competitive advantage. Start by listing all of the ways that your products and services are both the same and different from your competitors. Now cross all the ones off the list that are vague, hard to demonstrate, or not obvious, and you’ll have a better idea of how difficult it is for your prospects believe that your company is the right choice.

Now drill much deeper to identify and create new and innovative ways to truly differentiate your products and services.  Always ask, does this give people who haven’t dealt with us a “real reason to believe” that we are really different.