The key to differentiation is uniqueness. Telling the world that you have fast and friendly service will not differentiate you because the world is full of businesses proclaiming to have fast and friendly service.

Early in Ray Charles's legendary singing career, he was known as Little Nat. Ray sounded identical to his musical hero, Nat King Cole. Even back then when he was just starting out Ray was a terrific singer. but there was only room in the world for one Nat King Cole. Ray could play clubs and make a little money, but if he was ever going to really make a name for himself he had to become Ray Charles. When Ray discovered his own voice, his career took off like a rocket. Ray learned that the best way to differentiate was to be himself and work at being the best he could be.

A friend of mine is the president of his medical group, which produces substantial revenue. He does the group's banking at a small local bank. The bank has changed ownership several times over the years and he could get better interest rates and more services at a larger bank, but he has remained loyal. He told me, "They know my name at the bank. I know them. They care about me and my business." He suspects a larger bank would care about his money and not about him. Just caring about somebody can differentiate you from your competition.

We live in a world where every doctor is board certified, every mechanic is factory trained, all parts and service are guaranteed, all electronic consumer goods retailers will match any competitor's advertised price, everyone claims to have a friendly staff, and every grocery store has only the freshest produce and most complete selection. I am not complaining. In many ways the world is a better place than it has ever been. However, the price we pay for these universal improvements is sameness. Every city and village across the country has the same stores and restaurants. They may all be good but they are the same in Chicago as they are in Denver.

Why Customers Come Back. How to Create Lasting Customer Loyalty
Why Customers Come Back: How to Create Lasting Customer Loyalty
ISBN: 1564146952
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 110

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