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  • Brand Differentiation

    Once you understand that "brand" is the experience that customers and employees have with the company, you have a rationale that lets you develop a framework for creating a strategy that will differentiate your brand from the brands of your competitors.

    The rationale is this: If my brand is the experience that a customer or an employee has with my company, I can only differentiate my brand from others by examining and then differentiating (in a positive way) every aspect of that experience.

    The framework is this: Down to the tiniest detail, create a matrix or a timeline that describes all of the elements of a customer's or an employee's experience with your company, including every form of contact. Chances are good that there are improvements that can be made in each element.

    The strategy is this: Once you've identified opportunities for improvement, you can begin to ask yourself: How can each element of the customer's or employee's experience be differentiated from my competitors in some positive way?

    Here's a useful tip: You only have to differentiate your brand within your market space. This means that you can profitably study and emulate (swipe? ) the methods that brand leaders in OTHER market spaces use to achieve superiority without simply repeating what others n your own space are doing.

    You run a security company. Look at brand leaders outside the security industry to find out what they're doing. Does L. L. Bean have anything to teach a security company about brand leadership? If you said "Absolutely!", you'll probably visit the website. You'll study their products and find out why they're better than the competitors' products. Perhaps you'll make a purchase, test their satisfaction guarantee, call the company and ask some weird question to see how you're treated, etc., etc. Perhaps you'll search blogs to pick up customer and/or employee comments. Perhaps you'll look for business articles that have been written about the company and its methods. Having come to understand L. L. Bean's brand, you can then ask whether there is something there that you can emulate in your own business, even if it seems to be a very different kind of business. I bet you will find something, even if it's nothing more than improving the way you answer your company phones.

    Differentiation of your brand can only be done by creating a positive differentiation of the experience that people have with your company when compared to your competitors. Being different for the sake of being different, or creating "distinctions that don't amount to a difference" (i.e., painting your cars green instead of blue) will not differentiate your brand. The differences must be positive differences in terms of how people experience your company.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-10-2007, 01:30 PM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post

    Perhaps you'll make a purchase, test their satisfaction guarantee, call the company and ask some weird question to see how you're treated, etc., etc.

    I bet you will find something, even if it's nothing more than improving the way you answer your company phones.
    Can't argue with your seminar Trainer. I had read in a business class that CEO's and department heads should call the organization once in a while from off site, to that end.
    Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
    Groucho Marx

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    • #3
      I used to pick up alot of bonus work from disgruntled contracts who had reached a level of zero customer service from management over their security services who in turn would blame the staff for not keeping the customer happy. Alot of this was "word of mouth" as in "hey we use AAA Services, etc and these guys are not cheap but they run a crack squad each shift". Crap service is notorious with cheap companies and whilst they may ge the contracts initially it paves the way for others to take over these contracts when the client realises that cheap is not always good.

      A bigger company with more branding than Coke is not always the best as the contract just gets lost in the system and ends up and being just another invoice sent out every month. Branding is important because it is associated with GOOD QUALITy or CHEAP and NASTY.
      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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