What’s the difference between you and all of your competition?
Are you different from your competition, or do you just THINK you are? Are you different from your competition, or do you just tell customers and prospects you are?
Or are you different from your competition, and others CLEARLY perceive you as both different and better?
It’s not what you think or believe, it’s what your customers do and say.
If I ask you what the difference between you and your prime competition is, and your answer is “our people” or “me,” you’re in serious trouble.
If you asked your customer what the difference is, what would they say?
“Closer to my home”?
“I dunno, been using them for years”?
“Six of one – half a dozen of the other”?
You’re in trouble.
Your reputation is a reality check of where you actually are versus where you think you are:
• What’s your customer reputation? NOT A SATISFACTION SURVEY. A face-to-face talk. NOT A PHONE-INTERVIEW. A face-to-face talk where you ask 100 of your customers what they really think of you, and why they buy.
• What’s your social reputation? As posted on your business Facebook page by your customer, or as recommended by customers on their social media accounts?
• What’s your industry reputation? How do both leaders and vendors perceive you in your industry?
• What’s your community reputation? If you had a town hall meeting of the community, what would they say about you?
Here are more painful “reputation” questions about your company and your products:
• What are you doing to build it?
• What are you doing to innovate it?
• What are you doing to change or enhance your customer’s experience?
Apple is the classic example of a brand, with products that back it up. Their competition is “me too,” and often mentions Apple in their ads. If you brag that you’re “just like Apple,” personally I want Apple. The experience I have in Apple stores is in perfect harmony with the brand they’re portraying.
In the computer industry, the smart-phone industry, the tablet industry, and the music player industry, everyone has to start with some sort of comparison to Apple – just like, better than, cheaper than – whatever they say, they mention Apple. Only Apple stands alone not comparing themselves to other products unless it’s a joke. They don’t have to talk about their competition – Apple is the innovator. And they do it at their price.