4i Newsletter Masthead 503


Four i 503 Similarity

Grab a piece of paper and create four columns.

In the first column write down every reason why a client should select you.
Make sure you include the way you deliver the service as well as the products/services.
Include price, payment terms, warranties and anything else financial.
Add the personal touches, the things your people do for the customer.
Think about the things that help to develop trust such as longevity, past performance, reviews, satisfaction ratings, awards.

What about technology, innovation, new things?
Remember to include all the systems and processes you’ve developed to improve the customer experience.

Feel free to add anything else, in particular your icing, candles, hundreds & thousands and anything else that makes your “cake” attractive.

Now ask three key people in your business to do the same thing, (each on their own and without sight of your list).

Then collect and combine the lists, noticing things that colleagues cite that you didn’t and vice versa, as well as those things which you all noted.

Now draw three more columns.

At the top of each, write a major competitor’s name.

And then go down the rows and put a tick if they (broadly) have the same, a cross if they (definitely) don’t and a ? if you’re not sure.

Now read this extract from ‘Funky Business’ by  Jonas Ridderstråle, Kjell A. Nordström published in 1999

“The world is alive with knowledge, with products and services, with information. But more often more of the same. The surplus society has a surplus of SIMILAR companies, employing SIMILAR people, with SIMILAR educational backgrounds, working in SIMILAR jobs, coming up with SIMILAR ideas, producing SIMILAR things, with SIMILAR prices, SIMILAR warranties, and SIMILAR qualities.”

To what extent does this statement apply to you, and for that matter to your competitors?

Have you got anything that is truly different – and crucially, that is also compelling to your target audience?

Are you happy with your competitive position, or does it need work?

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