Roy's Blog: January 2012

January 30, 2012

The skinny on #benchmarking and why it’s wrong

I know that benchmarking is viewed as a necessary process for most organizations. But I have a major issue with it.

Beware of these 3 things:

1. It’s copying. It doesn’t make you special. It may help you improve your position in The Herd, but it does nothing to help you Stand-out from The Herd. Copying is the enemy of BE DiFFERENT. if The Herd goes East, go West. If The Herd says Black, say White.

2. It keeps you in The Herd. Best of Breed is still in The Herd. An imprint of the #1 Herd Member still keeps you with your ‘Sameness brethren’. The Herd is not your friend. You need to break away from it, not find consolation in it’s attributes.

3. It robs you of your individuality. Benchmarking forces you to conform. Forces you to BE SaME. Forces you to capitulate to the leader of The Herd. What’s your problem? Can’t think for yourself?

YOU owe it to yourself to express your uniqueness. The Herd is common. Invisible. Ignored.

Express yourself. Distance yourself. BE YOU!

It’s ok to observe what The Herd is doing and adopting from the Best what might improve your performance. It’s quite another thing to assume that copying them will help you win the competitive battle.

Winning is about Standing-out not Fitting-in.

Look at The Herd.

Go a DiFFERENT way.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…
Why benchmarking sucks
Strategy or tactics: which drives your organization?
Your strategy must be “in motion”

  • Posted 1.30.12 at 10:20 am by Roy Osing
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January 26, 2012

Marketers: 11 steps to build a killer loyalty program

Every marketer is trying to build a better loyalty program that will hold customers forever.

Here are some thoughts to consider:

1. A loyalty program should be RELEVANT (something your fans care about). It should carry some degree of personalization and not be for the masses. If it’s for the masses, it’s for nobody.

2. A loyalty program should be UNIQUE (something they can ONLY get from you). Doing the same thing as everyone else diminishes its value to the point of making it worthless.

3. Tailor your program around your top customers in terms of what they care about. Design it for THEM.

4. Observe what the competition is doing, but act on what your fans are telling you. Many organizations design something on the basis of what their competition is doing. Chasing your competition is unproductive; listen to your fans.

5. Build an ONLY Statement for the loyalty program. “Our loyalty program is the ONLY one that….” would separate you from others and make it easy to communicate it.


6. Avoid benchmarking other plans unless you want to exercise the “contrarian marketing tool” and go the opposite way. Copying best of breed might allow your status in the herd to improve, but it won’t allow you to stand-out from any other member of it.

7. Consider greater benefits to those who have been with you the longest. Someone who has been with you for 10 years is worth more than someone who has been loyal for 2 years. Treat the 10 year old accordingly by delivering more benefits to them.

8. Design a communications strategy to support your plan to be constantly engaging with your members. Constantly tweak the plan based on fan feedback.

9. TEST the plan design with your fans. Make sure it addresses their high priority wants and desires - the RELEVANCY test.

10. Personalize the program. Have a variety of versions based on the unique desires of your various fans. The one-size fits all approach is what others do and it isnt as effective as taking the specialization approach.

11. Give loyalty club members a special “Fan Club Service Line” to call when they need to talk to you. Differentiated levels of service is an appropriate way to recognize the relative value of customer groups.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.26.12 at 01:04 pm by Roy Osing
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January 25, 2012

Guest Blog - Frankly Speaking / Do You Have the Guts to Do What it Takes?

Do you Have the Guts to do What it Takes?
What Keeps You up at Night?
Are You Staring at a Blank Canvass?
The Power in Saying Hello

Thanks to Frank Palmer for this fourth selection from the “Weekly Messages” he sends to his team at BBD Canada.

Do You Have The Guts to Do What It Takes?

Do you have the guts to do what it takes to get ahead, to set yourself apart, to something that scares you, to quit your job, to jump out of a airplane, to speak up, to start your own business…..? 

Have you ever challenged yourself to do something that sets you apart from everything and everyone else? Have you ever stepped out from the rest of the crowd or do you always want to be part of the crowd? 

Choosing to be part of the crowd is OK and it’s respectable because not everyone wishes to stand out. The basic facts are that it’s tough to stand out. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to set yourself apart from the crowd.

There’s really not that many people or companies that achieve it or even risk to do it.  There’s a number of reasons for this is, some of them are personal but one of the reasons is that there’s lots of people that want to hold you back and want you to fail. Why? they are too lazy to go for it themselves.

So do you have the guts to stand up and out for what you want for yourself in life or do you find it easier just to succumb and accept what others have in mind for you? I found out that if I always followed the rules I would have been stopped or shut down 100% of the time. I started following the rules and someone higher in rank said no, so I stopped asking for permission.

It’s not that I’m a unreasonable person or a rebel, (well maybe a just a little) it’s just that I believed that I was making the correct decisions for the company overall. What I found out is that some small minded people can’t handle some other peoples decisions that prove to be positive ones.

I found out early in my career that the best way to grow a company is to hire better and smarter people than yourself. But most managers can’t do this! Why? They simply do not have the courage to let others get the glory or praise.

These people are usually self-centred emotionally distraught losers. They have had very few ideas of their own but are jealous of others getting the spotlight with their ideas.

If you have a dream to do or start something, just do it! Don’t have others tell you that you can’t or you might fail. The only person that will be failing is you if you don’t go for it.

Step out of your comfort zone and just go for it!  I promise that you will feel great!


  • Posted 1.25.12 at 10:58 am by Roy Osing
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January 23, 2012

11 questions to ask a job hunter

You are about to interview a candidate for a job with your organization. Doesn’t matter what job.

Here are 11 questions you should ask to determine if they have what it takes to help you build a unique and distinctive organization.

1. Tell me about a project you led where your execution was brilliant. What did you do to make it so? The words passion, clear vision, shared purpose, recognition and relentless focus on the goal should be sprinkled through their answer.

2. Define marketing. Make sure their answer contains the following words: Value. Fans. Packages. Personalization. Unique wants and desires. Give them the heave-ho if they constantly references Marketing 101 stuff like The 4 P’s and customer needs.

3. Define leadership. Listen for the concept of “serving people”. If you don’t hear it, wave to them as they leave your office.

4. How much CRAP have you eliminated in their previous jobs? If they don’t understand the question, you could be looking at a good candidate for someone else.

5. Do you like human beings? Watch for a confused look on their face. They know it’s a trick question but don’t know where you are leading them.

6. Tell me a story that would prove that you DO love humans. They will either leave you cold with their answer or they will give you goosebumps. If you get goosebumps you have a winner.

7. Have you ever developed a “promise to serve”? What did it say? Listen for words like experience, memories, WOW! and dazzling.


8. Define sales. If they talk about selling products AND nothing about building deep relationships, throw them out.

9. Have you ever worked for a company that had “dumb rules”? - Rules or policies that made no sense to customers? What did you do to help eliminate them? If they don’t say how they were instrumental in changing them stop the interview. It’s over.

10. What would you do to help you make your organization remarkable, unique, distinctive and gaspworthy? Look for stuff done to serve customers. Ignore technology answers.

11. How are YOU DiFFERENT from anyone else? What makes you special? If they can’t define how THEY stand out from the herd, what makes you think they will be able to so it for your organization?

Anyone who gives thoughtful answers to these questions is a keeper. Send the others packing.

P.S. Notice there are no questions on education. Formal learning credentials are irrelevant. Table- stakes really.

Earns you the right to have the interview. Value to an organization is MUCH more.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.23.12 at 10:00 am by Roy Osing
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