Do you know there are 32 versions of Tide? Not one box of detergent states this Tide is better than the next, just that it’s different.
Toni Newman, a Catalyst for Customer Touchpoint Innovation brought this to the crowd’s attention at a recent Canadian Association of Professional Speakers session. Even though there were 30 speakers in the room, as far as our customers are concerned, we are just 30 boxes of Tide. It’s up to each person to show what differentiates them from the rest.
It’s the same in every industry, you and your competition offer the same deliverable — the question is what makes you better or different from them? Why would a prospect choose you over your competition?
Newman said if your competition can make the same claim as you, then you are not differentiated. Even if you think you have a differentiated product or service, then the question is, “Is your value reflected accordingly in the marketplace?” Many times, the answer is, no.
So how do you differentiate? After that electrifying day of training with Newman, among the most powerful lessons were the need to adapt and recognize the changing marketplace, to step up to the top rung of the ladder when making decisions about your company and the countless touchpoint opportunities that can influence the perception of your box of Tide.
Running a business and appealing to customers today is entirely different than it was five years ago. Consumers are bombarded with brands. Whereas in the past a prospect or customer was considered to be the person who could potentially buy from you, now, a customer is anyone who can influence a future buying decision — their own or someone else’s. That’s a broader base to which you have to communicate effectively.
Newman travels North America speaking to audiences about innovation, with a bright red ladder in tow. It’s a constant visual reminder for professionals to step up to the top rung and look over the competition when making decisions about their company and client interactions. It’s amazing that as you start to realize the difference between the two perspectives, how impactful it can be on your day-to- day activities. Naturally I tend to be a top-rung thinker, but the reminder is really powerful. So much so, I now have a miniature red ladder on my desk.
Then there are touchpoints. Newman describes these as any moment when your product, service or brand interacts with a customer. As we’ve determined, that’s anyone who can influence a future buying decision so it’s a tall order to make sure all of your touch points are congruent with your message of value and differentiation.
Without carefully considering each interaction and communication from your company, then there are bound to be inconsistencies that will take people’s perception of your brand off track. Whether it’s your website, phone message, e-mail signature, social media presence or the way you thank your clients, there are hundreds of potential touch points, all of which can impact your customer’s perception of your brand.
To find out more about Toni Newman visit: toninewman.com
To find out more about how I can help you make more sales once you’ve figured out your brand, visit: elevatebiz.com/consulting