Is my business’s good or service being presented to maximize the value of our offering in a cost effective and profitable way? Answer these eight key questions below to find out and improve results:
Circle Y or N for each question.
Has my business observed and adjusted to:
- Y N Customer trends in frequency of use of our good or service?
- Y N Changing customer needs in type of use of our good or service?
- Y N Changing customer needs in how they acquire our good or service?
- Y N Changing customer needs in payment and or pricing for our good or service?
- Y N Legal changes?
- Y N Competitive branding activity such as customer loyalty programs or creative symbolic identity campaigns?
- Y N New, expanding or changing distribution channels?
- Y N Opportunities to make strategic vendor alliances?
Add up responses: Y______ N______
1-2 Y Your business is in a state of little change. Choosing to stay the same is appropriate when there is not need to change, and is good to build a brand that is working in its context, however choosing to stay the same is key. Being aware of and attuned to the needs and the market in order to differentiate as needed is the goal. Cost effective branding as able adds value for the customer and increases profitability.
3-5 Y Your business is working to maximize its value through differentiation. It may be doing all it needs to but is it choosing to not change in the questions to which you answered N, or is it just not aware? Keeping current on all the issues listed is important to maximizing the value of differentiation. How often a company will revisit the questions listed varies with its industry and market. To stay as competitive as possible, timely reviews are the answer.
6-8Y Your business is monitoring the key areas and staying on top of maximizing its value through differentiation. Maintaining the effort is the challenge. Routine, systems, and processes help to maintain the monitoring of customer needs and the marketplace. Keeping research current as well as the means through which research are also key.
As you answer each question, consider making some notes about the strengths or weaknesses of your business, and revisit these questions in three to six months to measure improvements or new areas to focus your attention upon. See Maximize Value Through Differentiation - Porter Strategy for a review of the finer points and more reference sources.
has edited and written for consumer Web sites and publications reaching nearly 50 million people. Her credits include writing and editing online and print articles, sales and training materials, marketing collateral, and advertising and PR for conusmer companies including BeautiControl, a Tupperware subsidiary's publications to women ages 20s through 50s, the WHO Foundation, Women Helping Others, MCG Magazine, Los Angeles and Seasonal Living Guide for Sam’s Club, a retailing subsidiary of Wal-Mart. Her career also includes working and living in Canada and Japan. Jean is well regarded for her market-research based approach to managing story development enabling consistently original, relevant and timely content.