Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others." African proverb

"It's not whether I arrive; it's how I lose my way." Andrew Boyd

"Remember, it doesn't matter what people think about you or your brand. What matters is how you make them feel about themselves and their decisions in your presence." Tom Asacker

Today's image: Blue sky for all by Pilou@ttitude. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Tom Asacker has written something new you should read. The Remarkable Chimera via PDF here. Highly recommended. Bravos, Tom! Here's a bit of it...

"The modern marketplace is primarily an individualistic, do-it-yourself, and better oneself pursuit. And as such, customers are constantly on the lookout for better "value." Today, customers not only want the brands they choose to be reliable and fair, they also want them to look good, be good, and do good. Yes they want to save time and money, but they also want to be uniquely acknowledged, involved and engaged. So to stay relevant, brands must evolve with customers' evolving concept of value. They must frequently reinvent themselves to stay fresh and uniquely add value to the brand experience. It requires vision, belief in collaborative innovation, empathy for the customer, and a passion for experimentation. But remarkability?...You do not have to be worthy of remark to be worthy of your customers' business."

How, exactly, is your brand truly different?

Tom is spot-on in his observation. Seth Godin's Purple Cow thesis while interesting, even inspiring, is but one measure of brand success and certainly not the only one of importance. The same can be said of Tom Peter's equally inspirational WOW! benchmark. This is not to suggest Purple Cow and WOW! should not be taken seriously. Getting your team to go for greatness is exactly what's needed in today's me-too marketplace. My thought is Tom Asacker has provided a needed and healthy perspective. Perhaps the real issue, the critical business practice in play here is genuine differentiation. Let's admit there are in fact degrees or gradations of differentiation. Differentiation is relative and related, it is the contrast created in the customer mind only when options are present. Customers come to understand value as a comparative perception. Therefore, it seems to me the path to the ultimate differentiation (i.e., Purple Cow and WOW!) includes value way points that ring the cash register, build equity and drive sustainable competitive advantage.

Tom also makes an excellent point when he writes..."You can grow your business by being innovative and hard-working, honest and empathetic. Build it with warm smiles, kind words, small, unselfish acts and heart-felt thank yous." Perfect! Details are cumulative.

With all this talk about getting people to talk reminds me of something the great Gordon McLendon was fond of saying "Get people to talk about your radio station." Of course the first step in this process is to actually do something worth talking about.


Unknown said...

Thank you David!