August 3, 2004 Volume 4 Issue 7
Better - Different - Faster - Cheaper
There are four ways that make you stand out from your competition;
better ... different ... faster ... cheaper.
So says James Ray, an enjoyable speaker I heard at a client conference a few months ago. And ... after thinking about it for a while - I agree.
To create your own image, your own awareness level, your own position in your marketplace, to be known as offering the best, or being unique, or where speed is an issue or when price is important you have to work at it.
Let's 'talk' about each word ... we'll begin by defining;
Better; more desirable, satisfactory, more effective to a degree, the better one, improved, a higher position or status.
B = Disney, Intel
Disney is better. Even with their public ups and downs, Disney is considered the best at what they do - provide family entertainment. The parks. Movies. Television. Yes, they have considerable competition - yet, year after year they offer something others do not. At a premium price that families fuss about, and are still willing to pay. Better for Disney is value.
Intel is better. From their beginning with the Moore theory of doubling the speed of the product every 18 months being achieved consistently time after time, even with 'faster' competition, Intel has retained the lion's share of the marketplace for chips. They are just considered better.
Better is the easiest of the four options to do - as few others will walk that way -won't take the time to be better. You don't need to be much better - just some - to be seen as much better. And then, of course, you need to be better consistently. Not at your convenience - all the time.
Not the same as others, distinct, separate, special, unique, unusual.
D = Volvo, Starbucks, Harley-Davidson
When you do it different you become better by default ... the marketplace "assumes" you are better because you are different.
Volvo stressed safety in automobile design and won the category. They were different in doing so, there was really no one else doing what they were doing, and talking about it. Even thou today most cars are a whole lot safer than in earlier decades.
To some degree Volvo earned their reputation to their dismay ... as often their design is not as 'sexy' as others. My guess is their approach costs them sales in the marketplace ... people talk about safety and buy looks and comfort. And then there is the Volvo convertible (a beautiful car!), which I consider an oxymoron. How can you have a top down car that is safer?
Starbucks certainly does it different. The scores of coffee houses that spawned through the 1950's and '60's didn't really do much different. The folks in Seattle put a formula together, bought up scores and built others, and went to market with a different look and menu. And most certainly a different price tag - which today millions pay. It works because so far no one else has been able to meet their 'difference'.
Harley-Davidson needed some help - they go it, and remained different. The explosion of low priced and low powered motorcycles in the 1960's from Japan almost put what is now an American icon out of business.
When H-D woke up about 1981 they made several decisions; the prime being to be loyal to their customers. The second was to the truly unique Harley design. They did NOT change ... their difference was in retaining the old tried and true. Today riders around the world want a Harley, because they are different.
Moving, or capable of moving, at high speed, taking place rapidly, accelerate the development or progress or creation - the fast track.
F = FedEx, Amazon.com
Faster is also tough to do day after day after day. Just as the best golfer doesn't win every match, or the best car and driver don't win every race, it is rare to win every day in the marketplace based on speed alone.
Which is why UPS was slow to catch on that Federal Express (their name in the early days) was going to make an impact. And now that overnight or quicker has options (before 8:30am, by 10:30am, before noon, afternoon, two or three days) - others have almost taken themselves out of competition.
Today Fed Ex, UPS and the United States Postal Serviced have the overnight delivery business. And the marketplace considers Fed Ex the leader.
Amazon.com had staying power, even with years of negative cash flow and huge losses, and has made it. With delivery based on speed. Well, Amazon really has three features; lower prices then conventional brick and mortar book stores, convenience -they're as close as your laptop, and third, speed.
Barnes & Noble can give them a good run because they do have those conventional stores. Yet, Amazon has almost become Kleenex (meaning tissue), Coke (meaning soft drink) or Xerox (meaning a copy) when it comes to books and gifts online.
Usually relates to price, lowest in price - frequently associated with a lesser grade - something is not worth as much.
C = WalMart, Southwest Airlines
When asked which of the four ... better - different - faster - cheaper ... is the easiest to do, most often cheaper is the first word out.
Actually, being the cheapest is the most difficult to do ... it can be done, yet it is tough. Most often it's a short term fix and creates a long term problem.
Lowering prices is not being the cheapest. The airline industry in the USA learned that the hard way by competing against Southwest. They'd lower prices only on competing routes. It didn't work ... one by one the big guys either went into bankruptcy or merged with another.
Over recent years WalMart has gotten a lot of bad ink when they try to build a store in a new community. Why? Because the local fat cats in that marketplace don't want a low cost competitor, with a reputation for personalized service from people who care. Wal-Mart gives the longer term establishment a run - using low price as the hook.
Today cheaper is not always lower quality, a smaller worth, a lesser value. Sometimes, sure - always, no.
Better ... Different ... Faster ... Cheaper - what will it be for you? Chose carefully, as you'll need to live with your choice for a while.
Much of what attacks our bodies is 'news' to the healthcare world. They have little to no idea how or why.
This business thought is not in the came category ... from Anonymous ... it describes itself very well.
"Ulcers are something you get
The RJm Story
Being a slow learner, many lessons came late in life.
"It IS What's Next!" is a story I tell to association groups, at company meetings, for special events. Anywhere. Everywhere. At any time.
It's an inspirational message. With words about the Business of Your Life and how it affects the Life of Your Business. Want to know more? ... visit itISwhatsNext.
Sure, you can phone me @ 1-805-771-8300 or send an E-mail to Ray@RayJutkins.com, too.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.