Starting the conversation for program 240…
How well does your organization strategically differentiate from the competition? How clear is your organization’s strategy for this?
What You Will Hear:
How well your product reaches your target market impacts your competitive advantage.
Many companies fail in differentiation.
Research the existing industry to find the ‘norms’ and what can be done different.
Service and product offering are interrelated.
Look at the sameness to find your company’s uniqueness, it’s where your advantage is.
Know who you like to work with and your mission is what makes change.
Strategic differentiation is your competitive advantage.
Know what customers are striving to achieve.
Ask better questions to ensure you are getting useful information.
Know what you offer and what you don’t.
Buy-in and consensus build on your mission and prevent dilution of the brand.
Ask for help!
Conform and non-conform create boundaries.
Mainstream changes, and you must too.
Opportunity can erode your existing product!
Know what innovation is in your industry and market segment.
It is BOLD to go after strategic differentiation and be clear in your strategy.
Notable and Quotable:
Patti Haus 3:06
I’m a copywriter. So obviously I’m going to say communication is key.
Patti Haus 3:12
The only real way to differentiate between yourself and your competition is how well your messaging reaches your target audience. Being different really isn’t enou. To have different products really isn’t even enough. You have to communicate how well your product, unique or not, will help your prospective customers solve whatever problem it was that led them to you.
Patti Haus 3:47
Companies go wrong in their communications when they’re afraid to communicate in a way that’s different than their competition.
Patti Haus 3:55
All too often, we have a whole niche of organizations and they are have exactly the same messaging, or pretty damn close. They have very similar websites, they have really similar product pages, similar sales pages, and that leads their customers zero reason to buy from them. It’s really about knowing what it is that your target audience wants and needs from you, and then using that. Not being afraid of being too unique, or of standing out. Because if you are really writing for your target audience, you can’t be right. You can’t be wrong. Not saying you shouldn’t have decent grammar and stuff like that. But when your messaging matches exactly what your target audience needs, from you, that’s golden.
Patti Haus 7:27
In depth “voice of customer” research, and asking the hard questions, and really digging deep and finding out exactly what people need to get from your product and from your company, is the only way to go. You have to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal consumer so that you know what it is they need to get from you. And then you target all your messaging around that.
Jess Dewell 10:38
Strategic differentiation is competitive advantage.
Patti Haus 10:53
Strategy comes from
Patti Haus 11:01
It really comes down to knowing your customers so in depth that you understand what problems they are facing. You know what they want to get from you. And you use that to create a strategy.
Patti Haus 11:41
Strategy is something you can’t just create,. You have to know what they’re striving to achieve.
Jade Alexander 12:13
Whatever their questions might be, we always address them. And then we ask questions of our own to make sure more than anything, that we’re the right fit. We don’t want them to work with somebody that is not going to be good fit for them. And we most certainly don’t want to waste their time or money by not being the right option. So it really helps us to make sure that we’re working with the right type of clientele, and that we’re fulfilling their needs right off the bat. Instead of trying to fit ourselves into this box that we’re never going to fit into, we make sure that yes, that is a box that we’re accustomed to being in. Or that’s not really something that we can do. And that really helps us with our strategy to ask the questions and create that dialogue.
Patti Haus 13:42
It’s a little bit scary sometimes to go all in on one niche, but I think it can be really, really successful for people.
Jess Dewell 17:00
We hear these business models. We hear all of these things. We are recognizing the power in knowing exactly who we work with, and who we serve the best, because it prevents dilution of our brand. It prevents the erosion of our credibility on a broader playing scale.
Patti Haus 18:03
You can see immediately if you have watered down coffee, just generic headlines that could be selling any product to any person.
Patti Haus 18:16
And the way I get buy-in is, when I am done with the research phase, I actually present all of it to my clients before we actually go ahead and do the writing. I would show them that this is exactly what your current customers are saying about you. And this is what leading them to yo. And really just kind of get the buy-in that way, where you’re actually showing evidence. It’s almost like you’re empowering your clients to be okay with getting out of their box, almost
Jess Dewell 18:48
In some cases, we are in the wrong box. We’re not in the box of who we can help and what are our true messages. Were in the box of, this is what we’ve decided to do, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
Patti Haus 24:10
“No” is a complete sentence. And you’re totally okay with saying no, it is outside of your wheelhouse and you’re just not comfortable with it.
Patti Haus 24:28
Your business is going to grow, It’s going to evolve. It’s going to change.
Patti Haus 24:59
You have to do things that are out of your comfort zone as an entrepreneur, and probably not the best place to stay for very long as an entrepreneur. And you really have to be okay with making those hard decisions. But again, it’s also okay to say, “No, I don’t want to do this. I don’t think it fits with my values or it doesn’t fit with my skill set.” I think it’s totally okay. And I think that’s actually empowering to say, “No, we’re not a good fit.”
Jade Alexander 26:17
Yes, you should definitely be putting yourself outside your comfort zone to learn. Learning is great, and continued education is never wasted.
Jade Alexander 27:27
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. We humans are a society. We want to be engaging with other people. And we want to help each other. Now help each other doesn’t mean do it for free. But it does mean to be there to support each other. And the small business community is all about helping each other, because when we survive, we all survive. And so it’s in our best interest to help each other.
Jess Dewell 28:40
Conform as a nonconformist.
Jess Dewell 28:53
If you’re being you, and you’re being true to you, and just being you (I love that phrase), that’s all the conforming you have to do. If you have to do business in a way that serves your own values, even if they’re different than other people’s values, then you know we all have different values. It’s really about just being authentic and being true to yourself.
Jade Alexander 30:40
There’s a very big difference between conforming and social expectations.
Unknown Speaker 30:48
It is okay, as a nonconformist, to still live within social expectations. There’s still that expectation that you show professionally. You’re clean and you don’t smell weird. And you’re dressed appropriately. You’re using proper communication skills and syntax. That is all the expectations socially for us as business owners, you don’t have to be exactly like everyone else. But there is a fine line where you can literally do your own thing. And I encourage people to do that.
Patti Haus 42:59
It’s innovative to just know who your audience is, and not stuck in the, “I’m going to communicate like everybody else does. I’m gonna follow the easiest path to do what everybody else is doing.” But if you know what matters to your prospects, and to your customers, I think that’s innovative because so few people are doing it
communication, differentiation, decision making, customer profile, quality, business growth, confidence, evidence based
How well does your organization strategically differentiate from the competition in terms of the capabilities of its product?
Differentiation is everything. Obvious pressures push us to features, comparisons, and price. Even so, if your strategy doesn’t include those pressures why do we still feel the need to put head space around them? Strategy isn’t just more sales, it’s positioning and thinking about the adaptability and longevity of the product. Jess Dewell, mentor to executives and founders, hosts Patti Haus, Conversion Copywriter, and Jade Alexander, Co-Owner (& RockStar) of Synergy Videography to discuss strategic differentiation.
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