Companies talk regularly about being different, but what does this mean:
- Better communication
- Better pricing
- Stronger technical support
- Open to options
- Flexible payments
- Out of hours contact
- Exclusive features
- Longer guarantee
- The list can go on and on…
I guess a few questions that come to mind for me is: WHY do you want to be different? Will your customers appreciate it? Do you think they want something different or aren’t they really concerned, as long as they get an adequate product at a low price? What does a low price actually mean anyway? (that’s a subject for another day!!).
How many companies do you know use “buzz” words to describe their company but doesn’t reflect their day-to-day approach? The company’s personnel don’t buy into it and therefore are not all on the same page when communicating or presenting themselves. Your approach to your customers’ needs to be reflected and demonstrated right through your organisation!
Whatever your points of difference are, the real benchmark your customers will recognise is VALUE. Your goal is to identify what they recognise as VALUE and how does that reflect your companies experience, offerings and communication style. What do you bring to the table to give them a level of confidence in your abilities? You need to demonstrate this. You need to build relationships that develop over time. One where the customer then sees you as DIFFERENT. This needs to be demonstrated not just communicated. You need to back this up and work every day towards the values and ethics you wish to build your business on. A business that builds over a period of time, by developing relationships and demonstrating value is laying a solid foundation for sustainable and long-term success.
However, here is the difficult bit: the key to being different is finding and developing a potential customer base that appreciates the VALUE you bring. One that wants to work together for the longer-term benefit. One that recognises both parties as equals.
Are these customers out there? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part? What do you think?