Roy's Blog: September 2014

September 1, 2014

The Karaoke Cab: a lesson in differentiation

A cab is a cab right?

All we expect is a cab when we need it and that we get to our destination quickly and safely in a clean vehicle. And we don’t expect a conversation with the cabby unless we initiate it; in fact a “chatty cabby” can be quite annoying.

When is a cab NOT a cab?

When we experience something we DON’T expect. When we are surprised. When we are delighted with a “cabby act” that we didn’t see coming.

When we see our guide demonstrate an act that is in keeping with the persona of the village, town or city we are in.

We ran into a “not a cab” in Whistler one evening.

Pete’s cab was different. It was equipped with a Bose speaker set (and cord microphone) linked with an LED screen which provided the essentials of a karaoke system. We enjoyed our ride home singing to Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans”.

What a treat! The surprise factor. A memorable experience which was a natural extension of the overall Whistler mystique.

Here’s what my 9 year old Grandson said about our musical ride:

I thought the Karaoke cab was different and cool. It was 10:00 pm at the Fairmont Chateau and we wanted a cab so Papa called one. When we got on my mom thought she saw a Karaoke machine. Pete did have one with a microphone and big speakers. He put on a song and wanted us to clap so we did. Unfortunately I couldn’t see the words on the Karaoke machine so I had to clap with my mom, dad, and sister. But I still got to listen to the Karaoke machine’s music. Pete was kind and passed the microphone to Papa. He sang a little bit and then passed it to Grandma. She couldn’t see the words on the Karaoke machine either so she passed it back to Papa and he sang. My experience with the cab was awesome and amazing, and we really had a fun time on that crazy cab.”

An impressive example for those of you who don’t think your service can be differentiated.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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3 tips for leaving your customers “breathless”

August 25, 2014

The stand-out leaders’ mantra

NEVER has it been more important to carve out a distinctive and unique place for your organization in the market than it is today.

The economy is unpredictable.

Competition is intense as new competitors are entering the market at a blistering rate.

New technology “rains down” relentlessly.

Markets are cluttered with sameness; products and services are undifferentiated and competitive claims are lost in the crowd.

Customers are more empowered than ever before, establishing relationships with suppliers that deliver distinctive solutions and ignoring those that don’t.

Which organizations are successful and survive this challenging business environment, and what separates them from the others that struggle, hang on and eventually fail?

Those that are able to win this battle are DiFFERENT from their competitors. They survive the scrutiny of the discriminating customer by providing relevant, compelling and unmatched value.

Those that have no distinctive identity simply don’t make it.

They die.

How can organizations stand-out from the herd and distance themselves from it?

It starts with reinventing how strategy is developed. The emphasis is shifted from strategic direction to execution. Many plans look good on paper but can’t be executed. They are theoretically pristine but worthless as they fall short of delivering results.

The BE DiFFERENT Strategic Game Plan is designed for execution and answers 3 questions:
1. HOW BIG do you want to be? - growth goals
2. WHO do you want to SERVE - target customers to achieve growth
3. HOW do you intend to compete and WIN - value proposition that gives The WHO reasons to buy ONLY from you. Being the best of the best is ignored; being the ONLY ones that do what you do is coveted.

Marketing is focused on creating experiences rather than flogging products. Investing in current loyal fans is given priority over providing special promotions and deals to acquire new customers.

Mass markets are ignored in favour of concentrating on the individual and discovering their “secrets” that will unlock economic value. The world of “me” gains momentum.

Customers are looked at holistically; experiential packages are designed for each of them to satisfy their broad life desires. Creating happiness is the marketer’s end game.

Customer Service is out; SERVING Customers is in with the end game to “dazzle” the customer and take their breath away. Internal rules and policies are re-vectored to make customer engagement a friendly process. The customer is brought in to the organization to get their fingerprints on how they want to be treated.

“Leadership by Serving Around” is the new culture. “How can I help you?” are the words leaving leaders’ lips not “Do this.”

The BE DiFFERENT Bottom Line:
To Stand-out from the Herd you need to provide VALUE that people CARE about and that is UNIQUE. Failure to deliver and you’ll be IgNORED, InVISIBLE, CoMMON and DeAD (sooner or later).

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

We need marketers who don’t follow the rules
2 questions to get the creative juices flowing
3 steps to find your career path
3 tips for leaving your customers “breathless”

August 18, 2014

“Sexy” gets too much attention

Sure, the technology of business has changed.

Virtually every business function is inundated with new ways to enhance the PROCESS of conducting business.

This is a good thing.

But the “noise” of the new tool set at times seems to drown out their real purpose.

Efficiency seems to be the trump card; effectiveness is the deuce. “Let’s do social media!”. “Why?” “Cause everyone is in to it.” “K”.

But hey, technology is sexy and people love to dabble with it.

It’s cool.

But what about the basics of business?

What about the end game?

It hasn’t changed at all.

Offer uniqueness to people. Be special. Stand-out in a crowd. Get noticed. Attract attention.

Provide value that people care about. Experiences they cherish.

Strum a note that resonates with people; makes them regress to their child state and be happy. Even if it is out of tune.

“Sexy” attracts too much attention these days.

The basics are often forgotten.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

2 questions to get the creative juices flowing
3 ways to leave your customers “breathless”
Dig for “secrets”; customer needs won’t cut it

August 11, 2014

Do lots of imperfect stuff fast =

SUCCESS = (Doing) (lots of) (imperfect) (stuff) (fast)

(Doing):
Acting not pontificating
Not too much analysis
From the gut and heart
Passion driven

(lots of):
There are no silver bullets
Progress is measured in inches
For every great idea there hundreds that don’t work out
Innovation doesn’t come in big chunks, it comes in bits and pieces
Everyone has a different idea; engage them
Winners shoot more

(imperfect):
There is no such thing as perfection
Perfection seeking = no action; nothing is shipped
An imperfect idea successfully implemented >>> an intellectually pristine notion that never gets off the ground
Perfection cultivates innovation rigour mortise

(stuff):
Weird
DiFFERENT
Contrarian
Unique
Special

(fast):
Speed IS the competitive advantage
Accelerate past the failures and try something else
You can’t be nimble if you are dragging
Your competitor isn’t sitting idly by; they are watching you

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

3 ways to leave your customers “breathless”
3 steps to find your career path
You can’t succeed if you’re invisible
Dig for “secrets”; customer needs won’t cut it