25 questions to see if you’re really different - a quiz

The BE DiFFERENT or be dead Quiz is a simple and fun method to to determine where your organization sits in terms of practising the capabilities you need to stand-out from the competitive Herd.

The Quiz deals with the critical areas of business strategy, marketing, serving customers and sales.

The process is easy: assess your organization on each Practise on a scale of “1” to “5” and submit your scores to see a bar chart of your overall results.

Score each Practice this way:

“1” = strongly disagree with the statement; you rarely practice it;

“3” = agree that you occasionally practice it;

“5” = strongly agree with the statement; you consistently practice it.

Examine your results. The Practice with the lowest score deserves priority attention; the highest scoring Practice can wait. The chart is a priority setting tool.

Get your colleagues to take the Quiz and compare results. Or better still, do it as a team and discuss how to action plan around your lowest scores.

That’s about all there is to it. Have a go!

Business Strategy


Your organization has a strategic game plan that is driven by growth goals and is clear about WHO you intend to SERVE and HOW you intend to differentiate yourself from your competition.




You have developed the ONLY Statement - "We are The ONLY ones that..." for your organization; it clearly defines your unique value proposition for the customers you have chosen to serve.




You have assigned a cut the crap champion to eliminate all projects and activity in your organization that is not directly related to your strategic game plan. This person is responsible for letting go of the work that is no longer relevant.




A strategy hawk has been appointed and is responsible to ensure that your strategy is implemented and that people meet their strategy implementation commitments.




Your strategy execution plan focuses on the critical few objectives targeted to achieve 80% of your strategy rather than a long list of action plans with confusing priorities.




Your strategies pricing plan is to offer unique value with premium prices; you don't offer lower prices In order to compete. You don't see yourself as a commodity supplier with undifferentiated value.




Your strategy is focused on those customer groups with the greatest potential to deliver your revenue growth goal, and you have an explicit strategy to reduce your investment in customers who are not your primary focus.





You have a process in place to discover the "secrets" of your customers; and recognize that serving their NEEDS is not sufficient to win in the marketplace.




Your marketing tactics are designed to create long term relationships rather than flogging products for short term revenue gain.




Your product development strategy is aimed at creating experiences for your customers; you dont intend to market single products based on a narrow set of customer needs.




Your primary measure of marketing success is customer share; the percentage of a customer's total business you currently hold. The traditional market share metric has less value for you as it is primarily based on single product performance.




To create experiences, your marketing development strategy is to develop packages of value which synergistically combine a number of products to satisfy a single value proposition. You have substantially reduced your focus on going to market with stand-alone products.




You have implemented the continuous customer learning process to continuously gather insights on your customers at all "touch points" in your organization. You continue to do periodic traditional market research but it is given lower priority than in the past. You treat customer learning as a core competency and a competitive advantage.




Your marketing philosophy is driven by the question "How can we BE DiFFERENT?"; Copying Best in Class is frowned upon as being "me-to" marketing; inconsistent with wanting to stand-out from the herd.



Serving Customers


You have developed a service strategy based on two factors:

1. providing your core service seamlessly and

2. delivering WOW! service experience.




Your people programs including employee communication, recognition and reward programs, compensation plans and position descriptions are all in alignment with aligned your service strategy to prevent everyone "doing their own thing" and creating confusion and inconsistency.




The bonus plan for your executive leadership team includes objectives to be achieved for the service strategy and they are weighted the same as financial and operations objectives.




You measure how well internal customers are served recognizing that if internal customers are not served well, it is unlikely that "real" customers are. These internal measures are included in the bonus plan for managers.




You have a specific program to eliminate the dumb rules in your organization that are constantly annoying to your customers; a senior leader is the champion of the cause. And it is given a high priority in the organization.




You empower your frontline employees to break a rule in favor of serving a customer, and your organization rewards them for doing so.




In order to execute on your service strategy of WOWING! customers, you recruit frontline employees based on their innate desire and ability to serve others. Your leadership team often participates in the interview process.





In addition to other sales metrics, a customer report card is used to gather customer feedback on the performance of individual sales people; this metric is the major component of the sales compensation plan.




Sales people are expected to play a major role in the service recovery process that is invoked when a service mishap has occurred. The sales role has service recovery responsibilities defined; metrics are included in the annual sales compensation plan.




Sales plays a critical role in gathering customer secrets for the organization. Customer wants and desires rather than "needs" drive marketing and service activity. Secret gathering is a formal sales accountability and is included in sales compensation plans.




The theme of the sales bonus plan is customer relationship building to build long term customer loyalty. Rewarding short term product sales plays a minor role in the plan; annual sales rallies recognize relationship-builders rather than those who are good at flogging products.