How to RADICALLY differentiate your company
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How to RADICALLY differentiate your company



This presentation is about radical differentiation for businesses. There are winners and losers in business. The winners learn how to RADICALLY differentiate their business from ALL competition.

This presentation is about radical differentiation for businesses. There are winners and losers in business. The winners learn how to RADICALLY differentiate their business from ALL competition.



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  • Imagine a coffee shop built in an old downtown storefront that was upfitted from reclaimed wood, refurbished tables, chairs, fixtures, etc., it offers coffees from “abroad”, it offers free wifi and encourages people to come use it…

How to RADICALLY differentiate your company How to RADICALLY differentiate your company Presentation Transcript

  • To cut through the clutter in consumers minds and develop a discernable difference from your competition
    When everyone zigs, you should ZAG
  • Great Read - ZAG
    Book by Marty Neumeier
    Less than 200 pages
    17 points for RADICAL
  • What is your ZAG?
    PRETEST: What is the ONE thing that makes you different from your competition.
  • “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company.” – Marty Neumeier
    It’s what THEY say, not what you say
    Definition of a Brand
  • 1. Hit it where they ain’t – PURE differentiation
    2. Look for the white space
    3. Put a microscope on the Need State of consumers
    Example - $10 reading glasses
    4. Find a parade (find a trend)
    THE END, its that simple.
    More on Zaging
  • No set path
    No Mathematical formula
    17 points to keep you on task
    How to design your ZAG
  • Experience, Creditability and Passion
    “Follow your Bliss”
    Day-after-Day, Year-after-Year
    Write an obituary for your business and yourself (self-employed)
    1. Who are you?
  • CORE purpose or the fundamental reason your company exists beyond making money
    Example-Google’s purpose is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.
    Without a CLEAR sense of purpose companies tend to grab at short-term goals and lose their long-term identity
    Must be less than 12 word - K.I.S.S.
    2. What do you do?
  • This could be an entire topic :)
    Vision should be concrete, purpose can be abstract
    Purpose Example: Evolving the medical and insurance industries so they co-exist and thrive while taking care of every American
    Vision Example: Create a workable plan by Easter break 2010
    True vision can’t be imposed, it must grow from the inside out through shared purpose and passion
    3. What is your VISION?
  • High-Performance Brands are powered by a trend or trends
    Abroad Coffee Shop: Imagine a coffee shop built in an old downtown storefront that was upfitted from reclaimed wood, refurbished tables, chairs, fixtures, etc., it offers coffees from “abroad”, it offers free wifi and encourages people to come use it, with employees who are conversational while servicing the customers…
    Broad Street Coffee Shop: Imagine a second coffee shop that serves maxwell house, basic out of magazine furniture and fixtures, no internet service, with employees trained to “take orders”
    Both can work, but only one can become wildly successful
    What WAVE are you riding?
  • 12 Admirable Virtues: innovative, market-driven, customer-focused, ethical, responsive, collaborative, trusted, quality-minded, progressive, proactive, responsible, optimistic
    Choose 4…they may be admirable, but are they unique?
    Think of how you can be DIFFERENT, not admirable
    5. Who shares the Brandscape?
  • Many categories have 3-4 brands that exist PROFITABLY (see 2008 for former competitors)
    Rule of thumb: #1 has twice market share of #2, #2 has twice market share of #3, etc. until profit is gone
    The only positions worth owning are #1 and #2…
    Example: Kitchen Roseli – different by location & hours
    Winners and Losers
  • It is better to start a NEW Category than to battle it out with the top dogs
  • Our Brand is the ONLY _______________ that ___________________.
    First Blank – name of your category (restaurant)
    Second Blank – describe your zag(serves pulled pork)
    RULE: If you can’t keep it brief and use the word ONLY – you don’t have a zag. Try again
    Or you can make a list of the competitors that match your ONLY and shift your strategy away from theirs…
    RADICAL differentiation
    6. What makes you the ONLY
  • WHAT: The only motorcycle manufacturer
    HOW: that makes big, loud motorcycles
    WHO: for macho guys (and macho “wannabees”)
    WHERE: mostly in the United States
    WHY: who want to join a gang of cowboys
    WHEN: in an era of decreasing personal freedom
    This is the framework for your Zag. It is also your company’s decision filter for future decisions.
    “Onliness” Example - Harley Davidson
  • Humans love to ADD, start new, build
    Focused alignment (SUBTRACT) is the art of using extreme focus and self-discipline to link business strategy to customer experience
    Which one is more fun and exhilarating?
    RULE: “If adding an element to your brand brings you into competition with a stronger competitor, think twice.”
    You’ll get wasted energy and among customers confusion
    7. What should we + or - ?
    Example: Ford under Alan Mulally
  • “The quickest route to a ZAG is to look at what competitors do, then do something totally different.”
  • Every brand is built by a community
    Think of it as an ecosystem, EVERYONE has a role to play even if they don’t realize it.
    80/20 rule
    Why do they love you?
    8. Who loves you?
  • Is it your fiercest competitor that watches your every move? maybe
    Is it an “old” way of thinking? could be
    Cell phones vs. Home phones
    Think outside of the box and POINT IT OUT*
    *the IT we are talking about is what makes you the ONLY – the only restaurant that serves pulled pork
    9. Who’s the enemy?
  • What do people call your company?
    Is it different than what you named your company?
    Is it better or worse?
    Can you change the name?
    Does it have creative “legs”?
    Example #1: Personal Media Devices vsYubop
    Example #2: iPod
    A poor name is a drag on the brand building process, a good name accelerates it!
    10. What do THEY call you?
  • Different than your competitors
    Less than 5 syllables
    Appropriate, but not generic
    Easy to spell, say and type
    Satisfying to pronounce
    Suitable for “brandplay” think iPod
    Legally Defensible don’t be the iWidget
    Sidebar: What’s in a name?
  • Trueline is formed
    Competitors can’t claim it (or won’t)
    Customers find valuable
    Customers find credible
    Remember, this is for you to facilitate the customer remembering who you are and why it matters to them.
    Example: MINI
    Trueline-the small car for people who want a fun driving experience
    Tagline – Let’s Motor
    Tagline RULE: If you use commas or “ands”, you need more focus
    11. How do you explain yourself
  • Touchpoints – places where consumers connect with your brand
    Examples – TV, Radio, Linkedin, Networking, online, etc.
    Choose touchpoints where you can WIN, not compete
    Have you ever looked at your competition in one way and thought, “I’ve gotta compete with that!”
    Maybe you should have been packaging for your product, nicer in-store communications, pick a “place” and dominate vs. sprinkling your budget “everywhere”
    12. How do you spread the word?
  • BEFORE you can align all your touchpoints, you have to decide what to sell and how to sell it. simple
    How does your competition engage? How can you use that information to ZAG?
    Could you give away items your competition sells at a profit? RADICAL?!
    Pool and Spa
    Blue Ocean mentality vs. Red Ocean mentality
    Tip: Best practices are typically common practices
    13. How do people engage with you?
  • What do consumers experience at your touchpoints?
    How will they learn about you?
    Sales staff? In-store? Online? Word-of-mouth?
    How can you help them “enroll” in your brand?
    Craft the experience so it delights your customers
    EXECUTION is key
    14. What do they Experience?
  • 50% of customers would pay a 20-25% premium for their favorite brand before switching to another
    5% increase in loyalty can produce a 95% increase in profit
    Loyalty can’t be programmed
    Loyalty is mutually beneficial
    It starts with companies being loyal to customers
    Example – Marketing Mentor contract, earn the right to do business vs. locking customers into contracts
    15. How do you earn their loyalty?
  • Leverage your brand loyalty
    Ask yourself: We have customers, what else can we sell them?
    Two ways:
    1. House of brands (think P&G)
    Fight their own battles separately
    2. Branded House (think Apple)
    Same customers, budget, brand look/feel
    PICK #1 or #2
    16. How do you extend your success?
  • Contagion
    If one brand has a problem…(think Toyota Prius)
    What if it were Mini? Would it effect BMW?
    17 kinds of Crest toothpaste…customers want choices among brands, not within them
    Example: Disney could stand for “wholesome entertainment”, “American entertainment” or “cultural imperialism”
    Avoid by building a separate brand or build a brand that travels cultural differences easily
    “The biggest task in brand-building is being able to say no.”
    – Helmut Panke of BMW
    17. How do you protect your portfolio?
  • Take that one thing you wrote down…
    Do you still think it is the same thing that makes you RADICALLY different?
    Post Test
  • Go to my website: and look on the blog, it will be posted by tonight.
    Please fill out my follow up sheet and leave it for me.
    Thanks for coming!
    Want this presentation?