One of our current clients originally came to us because they had run out of ideas on how they could be the best at what they did. They wanted our take on what we thought they needed to do to be the ‘only’ choice for their customers.
The problem is, in just about any industry you care to name, there is always a choice for your customers. Being (in your opinion) better than everyone else isn’t enough nowadays.
For example, I prefer Firefox as my web browser of choice. However, I’m happy enough to use Safari on the (admittedly) rare occasions when a particular website doesn’t play so nicely with Firefox. Changing over to Safari is not a big deal to me. In the same way while I prefer Evian bottled water, if the restaurant only has Volvic it’s not a deal-breaker.
You see where I’m going with this?
It doesn’t matter that what you’re selling is ‘the best’, since there are other choices out there which, by and large, are just as good in the eyes of your customer. Maybe they’re not as good, but they’re good enough. Today, customers are surrounded with a array of choices that – by and large – all meet their buying criteria. So how are you going to stand out?
By not trying to be just the best choice, but by aiming to be the only choice. You need to become a market of one. You need to aim to radically differentiate your business offering in such as way so that you stand out in the minds of your target market.
In the case of the client I mentioned earlier, we’ve been working with them in defining their business value in new ways.
- Firstly, we re-defined and prioritized the markets that they occupy.
- Then we looked at what, exactly, were the results that their customers were expecting to realize by buying their product.
- Finally, we worked on developing collateral and tools that allowed prospective customers to see the value of the result; not the product.
As a result, our client’s offering is now more about being invaluable, or indispensable, in the eyes of their customers. They don’t talk about being “the best” any more.
Today, there’s rarely a “best” in anything these days, so communicating your business value in such terms is always going to be a tough gig. Now, it’s about standing out from the crowd, based upon whatever criteria makes sense with your company, with your product/service, and in your market space.
It’s no longer about what you’re selling. It’s about what your customer is buying.