“In recent years, marketing professionals have focused their strategies around market differentiation. However, in many industries, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves from their competitors. What’s more, the chief concern of customers — whether they be consumers shopping in a retail store or businesses relying on the advice of a consulting firm — is not differentiation at all. Instead, it is ‘Who can most effectively fulfill my specific needs while meeting my standards?’ or ‘Who is my best choice?’
“For many customers, different isn’t necessarily better — it’s just different.
“The only solid strategy for meeting these ever-increasing customer expectations is one focused on excellence. This means if you manage a company’s marketing or public relations programs, you want your company’s customers to perceive it as excellent, instead of simply different from the rest of the pack.”
Think about this the next time you’re in one of those positioning meetings where they stick gigantic Post-it® sheets on the walls while participants stroke their chins, obsess about the competition and try to figure out what kind of car or famous person the company resembles. Maybe focusing on excellence – from a customer’s point of view – is where you should begin.