For weeks now I'm trying to find time to write another book review, but other - more pressing - business tasks keep coming up (good ones though, don't take me wrong).
But today Seth Godin made this task a little easier by posting this:
Getting someone to switch is really difficult.
Getting someone to switch because you offer more of what they were looking for when they choose the one they have now is essentially impossible. For starters, they're probably not looking for more. And beyond that, they'd need to admit that they were wrong for not choosing you in the first place.
So, you don't get someone to switch because you're cheaper than Walmart. You don't get someone to switch because you serve bigger portions than the big-portion steakhouse down the street. You don't get someone to switch because your hospital is more famous than the Mayo Clinic.
The chances that you can top a trusted provider on the very thing the provider is trusted for are slim indeed.
Instead, you gain converts by winning at something the existing provider didn't think was so important.
And that is exactly what "The Collapse of Distinction: Overcoming the Stifling Sameness of Today's Marketplace
" is all about: don't try to add incremental differences between you and your competitor - it is a waste of money, effort and time.
Scott McKain starts his excellent book by remembering his childhood in a little town in the US where two local diners suddenly experienced the "fast-food" chains. One business didn't take long to fold, the other survived as if the fast-food giants weren't even there.
Collapse of Distinction contains many more examples and steps to take yourself to "Stand out from the crowd" - beginning with the three dangers every business faces when competing:
- incremental differences,
- new competition and
- familiarity does not bread contempt it breads complacency
Scott answers these dangers with 4 pieces of advice you should implement in that order:
- Communication and
- Customer Service
It is a great read - the only thing I did not like is Scott's dislike of the IMHO greatest book of all: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
by Jim Collins and co, but then I'm biased on this subject. I can't see the difference between Scot's "Clarity" advice and Jim's "Hedge Hog Concept" advice. But I leave that for you to decide for yourselves.
Thanks again to my personal librarian Drew McLellan for recommending this book to me.