Be Different, Not Just Better

February 5, 2010

I read Craig Terrels and Arthur Middlebrooks book entitled, Market Leadership Strategies for Service Companies. Definitely worth the read.

I am struck immediately by the trap they say many service companies fall into, namely of “doing things better.”

The need for constant improvement in process, quality, cycle time and a host of other operational activities has not necessarily helped to improve market share and profits. It has however created a “commodity” mentality into our businesses.

I am sure that many of us have fallen into this trap. So listen to what Terrels and  Middlebrooks say in the 3rd Chapter.

Service companies need to dare to be different.

To find a leadership position in the market…. and then to lead. The key strategy is to be different from competitors. Service market leaders dominate their market niches by playing their own game, as opposed to one-upping competitors with the exact same offering. They break free from “be better” – internally oriented initiatives to pursue “be different” – externally oriented strategies.

Being different is grounded in providing customers with the unique value that they cannot get from any other competitor. It means constantly moving into uncharted waters and rallying the organization to do so confidently.

Are you willing to play your own game? To stand out in an overt and obvious way?To DARE to be different?

It can be scary, but very worth it.

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