Roy's Blog: Marketing

November 28, 2012

“My job is to create memories”

Aqaba, Jordan.

Nasr, our Tour Guide, who took us through breathtaking Petrahad it right. And it was so natural for him to say it. And to do it. He was able to turn a tour of Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the World (given the honor in 2007) into an experience my wife and I will never forget. And one that we will likely talk about for many years to come.

His concluding comments to us came from his heart: “My job as a guide is to create memories”.

He went on to ask :“Please tell your friends about my country”.

And that’s what I’m doing.


Can you imaging if every one of YOUR “customer contact employees” saw THEIR job to create memories for your customers? Do you think it would lift your business to new levels? Do you think it would deepen customer loyalty to you?

In Nasr’s case, he personally understood that unless he was successful creating memories, people wouldn’t visit his country. And he desperately wants people to see the country he loves so much (it was refreshing to hear him speak of Jordan in emotional loving terms).

The problem is that employees in our businesses don’t have the same compelling driver or sense of urgency to create memories for customers. They don’t understand it’s critical strategic importance to organizational success and survival.

And it’s not their fault.

It’s a failure of leadership.

You get what you ask for. You get what you pay for.

Ask for Memories to be created by your people. Make it a critical element of their Performance Plan. Pay them for it.

Hire people who innately know how to do it, because not everyone can. And don’t rely on training to teach people to do it. Memory creators are more often than not, born with the gift.

We need a Nasr to lead our organizations out of the common, boring, invisible, unremarkable, unimaginative, stale herd.

We need many of them.

PS. If you have a chance to visit Jordan, do it. It’s safe and full of charming people.

There Nasr, it worked…


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 11.28.12 at 09:14 am by Roy Osing
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October 29, 2012

That’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla

Can you imagine if an ice cream shop only offered vanilla flavor? Or just chocolate? Vanilla and chocolate lovers might be satisfied for a while but the business would likely not succeed.

Different consumer tastes require different flavors. It’s what every business must do.

Do you know the tastes of the people who do business with you? The people who care about what you do and buy from you regularly? Your fans expect you to create Value that is SPECIAL to THEM.

Can you provide too many flavors? I think so. To me it suggests shotgun thinking. Provide 50 flavors and you’re bound to appeal to some, but it’s a waste of resources due to the misses. In addition, I find too much choice frustrating and annoying.


Give me 3 flavors in my ‘relevance circle’ (the main flavors I select more than others) and I am happy to pick one that fits my mood at that moment.

A sprawling product line is expensive. We all know the result of excess inventory. Discount clearance pricing and bang! you’re a commodity supplier.

Too few flavors on the other hand limits business; additional sales are missed by not having a robust enough product line.

But a THOUGHTFUL selection of flavors based on fan purchase behavior grows business and customer loyalty.

THOUGHTFUL selection?

1. Select flavors that are coveted by your ten most valuable customers that provide you with a disproportionate amount of your revenue.

2. If you can’t name your top ten, look at product sales. Pick the ten best selling flavors over a 12-month period. Focus on them.

3. Conduct FEELINGS research around your top ten fans or flavors. Why do people like the flavors? What FEELINGS do they create when they consume them?

4. What other flavors, that you currently don’t offer, would interest them and why?

Know your fans. Know what makes them feel special.

Treat each of them differently.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 10.29.12 at 10:08 am by Roy Osing
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October 22, 2012

Are you the #ONLY ones that do what you do?

THE most challenging task in today’s world of aggressive and hyper competition is to carve out a competitive position for your organization that clearly separates you from the competitive herd.

Something that makes you relevant, compelling and special to the people you choose to serve.

Something that leaves them breathless every time they do business with you. That captures their undying devotion to you forever.

Today, the herd runs rampant over the economic landscape.

Marketing in the herd is lazy and unimaginative. Incremental product feature creep is the main strategy that tries to distinguish one organization from another.

Price is used to create the illusion of separation.

None of these tactics work.


Unclear value is communicated to the market and consumers are left to their own devices to determine who is capable of uniquely satisfying their wants and expectations. Unfortunately, when Value is not clear, people buy on price and everyone in the market ends up on a race to the bottom.

What’s the solution? How does a business create a unique competitive claim?

Stop copying “best of breed”’ and “best in class”.

Decide that you will be the ONLY one who does something and claim your distinctiveness by creating your ONLY Statement.

The ONLY is simple,practical and effective. It goes like this: “We are The ONLY ones that…”.

If you can make this claim, you are well on your way to distinguishing yourself from the malaise of copiers, followers, and invisible herd members in the market today.

The ONLY Statement must follow these rules:

1. It must be about VALUE which is relevant to your customers. It’s not about the product or service you provide; it’s about the set of benefits it creates (experiences, happiness, joy, fun, memories) for your fans. Don’t push products; communicate unique and compelling Value.

2. It must be specific. Avoid aspirational words like “best”, “greatest”, “premium”, or “number one”. These claims are not only difficult to prove, they also are constantly used by everyone else. A break- away ONLY is needed to distance yourself from this type of positioning.

3. It can NEVER speak to price. If you have to talk about price, you don’t have a competitive position.

4. Make it brief. This is NOT a narrative. It is a concise expression of what makes you distinctive.

St John Ambulance in Vancouver: “St John Ambulance is the ONLY First Aid Advocate that provides safety solutions anywhere, anytime.” A good example to consider.

Before proclaiming your ONLY To the world, test it to ensure it is both relevant (it addresses something your fans care about) and believable (it is true). Ask a group of your customers and employees. They will be delighted you asked for their help.

Finally, BE patient. You probably won’t nail your ONLY the first time. Get it “just about right”, test it and start executing. Learn how it resonates in the market. Make adjustments as you go.

You will know you are in the right path when your competition notice what you are up to and try the ONLY themselves.

Hey, nothing is forever.

If you’re not constantly renewing yourself to BE DiFFERENT, you’re dead (or soon will be).


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 10.22.12 at 09:50 am by Roy Osing
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September 17, 2012

Sales or margin: what do you want?

“Selling fewer cars isn’t such a bad thing if you are actually making money.” says Angus MacKenzie, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend magazine reporting on sales if Chrysler vehicles in the US.

Brings up an interesting choice every business faces. Do you want to drive sales by aggressive pricing tactics like promotional discounts, factory rebates and incentives? Many organizations do this, not just car manufacturers. Mobility mompanies, for example, subsidize mobile handsets in order to get low price points. 

OR, do you want to accept a lower sales volume and use price to return a healthy margin from each sale?


You can’t continue to fuel Top Line revenue at the expense of margin. Not a sustainable strategy.

You need a balanced approach.

Seed the market using creative pricing if you must, but always with a long term view of delivering value with positive margin pricing.

In my books, the company with the highest sustainable prices is the winner.

It’s the markets way of rewarding positive value creation.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 9.17.12 at 09:16 am by Roy Osing
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