How To Nail Customer Obsession, Competition & Your USP

Images HyperlinkedMISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2016 EDITION | VOLUME 65


Don't be fooled by the playfulness of the catchy track above.

This is part of an extended series on Customer Service, Customer ExperienceCustomer Satisfaction and keys to unbeatable, world-class Customer Obsession and management. And in case you've been too casual to piece together the puzzle, here's a hint: Even the Chinese government is in the game.

Business success — correctly reading customers — is preparation and good strategy, well executed.

It is the result of clarity, sound strategy and intense preparation consistently timed and intricately executed around customer obsession. It's one that expertly gauges, fulfills customer needs, augments customer care known to go the extra mile while creatively adding value in whatever iterations and at prices and quality clients are willing to pay for, —over as long as possible. And guess what, the video above deceptively captures the competitive mindset and strategic intensity required to nail & kill it!In politics, that customer is the voter. Or in repressive albeit capitalistic China, people — consumers — with seemingly infinite access to cheap products and services. And whether you silence the word “product” in David Ogilvy's quote below or leave it intact, the strategic play, appeal and selling point of the CCP's (China Communist Party)expounded in an unrelated article — begins to make sense:Failure to do so is failure of imagination à la how the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election was won and lost. And here, Forrester Research is right: “Business is won or lost based on levels of speed and flexibility” plus technological agility or lack thereof, brought to today's competitive marketplace: And even a casual study of losers in virtually every domain today reveals how a failure to holistically appreciate this fact is leaving money on the table. Or in President Obama's case, an entire legacy.

Yet there are many entrepreneurs who couldn't articulate their USP (selling point, unique selling point, unique selling proposition) and POD (point of difference) if their life depended on it. And those who want to start a business yet misunderstand the two. So just to be sure we're on the same page:The problem is, bringing generic strategy, generic commitment, and generic execution to an intense battle in a Digital Information Age sets you up for big losses. Which is why I discussed strategic intensity in Garry Kasparov vs. US Putin Apologists. Because episodic is a losing formula. So is tactical.

To have a shot at great competitive advantage, your awareness of the competitive landscape has to be as thorough as that conducted by military strategists. Otherwise, you're merely in a race to parity. And even then, your determination to standout must be somehow evident in any ad or promo. Which is why famed advertiser David Ogilvy often said: “If you can’t be brilliant, at least be memorable.”

For example, everybody knows Twitter. But if you ever stop at NotRealTwitter.com you'll remember a thing or two while having a good laugh. And that too — especially with value added — is mastering business creativity in an Age of Leverage; buzz, word of mouth, and how things go viral. Isn't it?

The problem is entrepreneurs unnecessarily lose revenue because in being too in love with their products, services and ideas rather than clearly communicating their “remarkable benefit” they miss the point. And those who do — including companies with the best startup name changes in history — 10x and more than 500x their revenue on their way to strategic preeminence.

This is why sound market research fundamentals matter. You cannot successfully sell yourself or anything of consequence if you're unclear about what makes you unique, and how to stand out. If you don't scrape the competition to understand what you're up against before positioning your product, service, platform/agenda, or yourself. Even if your personality and your personal brand — as D'Prince (Nigerian artist above) declares — is what you consider to be your USP. (Click or pinch to zoom)At least, unlike Meat Loaf who tells us everything, except what he wouldn't do for love in eight minutes, D'Prince manages to drop priceless business marketing, branding, advertising and CX (Customer Experience) insight in under four. For those who can decipher Pidgin.

If not, have a Nigerian business friend help you. But no “Nigerian Prince” jokes please, if that friend is a valued client. Also give yourself an A+ if you're comfortable with Nigerian Pidgin or any Broken English and therefore easily understand the music above. And a B, if you at least heard USP, goody bag, and importantly, D'Prince's own definition of his Unique Selling Point.

We know that a goody bag is a package of promotional giveaways used as part of a Brand or product's positioning campaign for mindshare. And why? Because — as above, and as any business that has been duplicated with great detail in China and likely killed, will attest — beyond Brand Positioning, exquisite Differentiation is survival. And the top brands that linger on — for example, Jaguar Land RoverPorsche, even Michael Jordan or Lady Gaga — often have other competitive tricks up their sleeves. And for that, we turn to Brian Tracy.

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Some highly competitive organizations, and even nations in their trade dealings and negotiations don't mind leaving lots of money on the table. But those of us who do, bring a different sensibility, if not strategic acumen. Which is a prime reason to implement — rather than take for granted — Brian Tracy's 4 Principles of Marketing.

In How To Achieve Strategic Preeminence, one of my closing quotes was by Thomas Timings Holme, who said: “After a business implements a strategy, competitors will react, and the firm’s strategy will need to adapt to meet the new challenges. There is no stopping point and no final battle. The competitive cycle continues on perpetually. Produce and compete or perish.”

And to my mind, Competitive Advantage 101 for any company or startup is the crystal clarity and determination with which they nail all of the above.

However those entrepreneurs who aim and restlessly seek to dominate the competition, devour market share while consistently disrupting themselves through Customer Experience Innovation as they go along, take time time to understand the competitive landscape.

And that begins with mastering Michael Porter's Five Forces Model. Click below to proceed.

○ ○ ○High Impact Strategic Business Sense Series (3L)(Follow the Dove)

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Breakthrough Ideas for July 2016

PEACE

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F I N I S

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