Be Different Or Be Dead

BE DiFFERENT or be dead: the stand-out leaders’ mantra

NEVER has it been more important to carve out a distinctive and unique place for your organization in the market than it is today. The economy is unpredictable. Competition is intense as new competitors are entering the market at a blistering rate. New technology “rains down” relentlessly.

Markets are cluttered with sameness; products and services are undifferentiated and competitive claims are lost in the crowd. Customers are more empowered than ever before, establishing relationships with suppliers that deliver distinctive solutions and ignoring those that don’t. Which organizations are successful and survive this challenging business environment, and what separates them from the others that struggle, hang on and eventually fail?

Those that are able to win this battle are DiFFERENT from their competitors. They survive the scrutiny of the discriminating customer by providing relevant, compelling and unmatched value.

Those that have no distinctive identity simply don’t make it.

They die. How can organizations stand-out from the herd and distance themselves from it? It starts with reinventing how strategy is developed. The emphasis is shifted from strategic direction to execution. Many plans look good on paper but can’t be executed. They are theoretically pristine but worthless as they fall short of delivering results.

The BE DiFFERENT or be dead Strategic Game Plan is designed for execution and answers 3 questions:

1. HOW BIG do you want to be? – growth goals
2. WHO do you want to SERVE – target customers to achieve growth
3. HOW do you intend to compete and WIN – value proposition that gives The WHO reasons to buy ONLY from you. Being the best of the best is ignored; being the ONLY ones that do what you do is coveted.

Marketing is focused on creating experiences rather than flogging products. Investing in current loyal fans is given priority over providing special promotions and deals to acquire new customers. Mass markets are ignored in favour of concentrating on the individual and discovering their “secrets” that will unlock economic value. The world of “me” gains momentum.

Customers are looked at holistically; experiential packages are designed for each of them to satisfy their broad life desires. Creating happiness is the marketer’s end game. Customer Service is out; SERVING Customers is in with the end game to “dazzle” the customer and take their breath away. Internal rules and policies are re-vectored to make customer engagement a friendly process. The customer is brought in to the organization to get their fingerprints on how they want to be treated.

“Leadership by Serving Around” is the new culture. “How can I help you?” are the words leaving leaders’ lips not “Do this.”

The BE DiFFERENT Bottom Line:

To Stand-out from the Herd you need to provide value that people care about and that is unique. Failure to deliver and you’ll be ignored, invisible, common and dead (sooner or later).

(About the Author:  Roy Osing (@RoyOsing) is a former executive vice-president and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.)

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