Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
I was lecturing at Cranfield University the other week and imparting useful nuggets about how to get started in business. It was great fun to share my learning, laugh at my mistakes and encourage people to follow their dreams.
Amongst the content was a section about marketing, which is a vast and interesting subject. However, I was able to cut it down to size, thanks to one of my own professors from when I was a mature student there over 15 years ago. At the end of his lecture about business to business marketing I put my hand up and asked:
‘Professor Millman, you’re an expert and have worked in marketing for many years. What is the essence of successful marketing?’
‘Differentiation’, he replied. ‘That is the secret. I suggest you look up Theodore Levitt.’
I thanked him and then went and purchased the classic book: The Marketing Imagination. Chapter four is all about differentiation and well worth reading.
Differentiation is about making it clear what exactly we do differently from our competitors. Any product or service can be differentiated and it is up to us to explain to people what makes us unique. This allows them to compare and contrast us and then to make an informed purchasing decision.
Unique combinations add value – that is the mantra here.
When we combine our skills and talents we arrive at a combination that is unique to us. This means we can put clear water between ourself and the next person.
For example, I am the only business coach I know who mixes Lean thinking with Transactional Analysis and his own published management models. Other coaches are available and if you want my particular combination then you’re free to choose me!
This week, have a think about what makes you and your products and services unique. Enjoy making differentiation part of the foundation of your business success.
Next week: watch out for over-trading!
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