If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.
- Jack Welsh
We have found many clients that cannot articulate their unique selling point. In our opinion, trying to win against your competition without good business discrimination is like trying to sail with no wind. Nothing is more important for your business than competitive advantages … the more you have, the stronger your business.
So how would Seth Godin help you derive good differentiation? For starters he would make sure you and he were of the same minds on value propositions by discussing the following:
There are two ways to win in a competitive market:
- Achieve sustainable lower cost (and therefore price) than your competition for the same products and services (very difficult)
- Deliver more value, despite equal or higher price
A business is a value delivery system. Do you know the ‘value experiences’ your business delivers? Do you know your targeted customer segments?
The heart of a winning value proposition is the end-result experiences of value a business intends to deliver to its target customer segments. It needs to be articulated for the customer value end state … not for your product, service, or business process.
Be your customers … study and creatively infer value by observing / learning from what they do.
Do your claims surpass the value alternatives in the market place? Do your customers believe your claims?
So where would Seth Godin look for value in your business’s value delivery chain? His top 5 areas include:
Time … the most important customer priorities today. What can you do to keep your time demands to a minimum?
Convenience and easy to work with … related to customer time for sure. Do everything you can to make things simple as possible.
Customer experience / service … great service creates a great experience and becomes something worth your customer talking to his friends about. It is the most important element of your word of mouth marketing campaign.
Trust and warranty … trust is the most often named reason customers say they select businesses to do business with. Good warranties are great places to start building trust.
New ways … of doing business. The best example for this value proposition in my mind … Netflix.
Seth would end the discussion with you by asking the following questions:
Can you validate and deliver your unique selling point?
Is it sustainable, at least in the near term?
Is it simple, clear, and specific?
What is the unique selling point for your business? How does it stack up with Seth’s recommendations?
Do you have an experience to share with this community?
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