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Everybody is Beautiful by Daniel Kraft & Markus von Aschoff


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Your Business is Beautiful, we know this, and you might agree. In order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need your customers to believe it too.

We have spend many years helping new ideas to see the light of day, and watched them grow and succeed. Looking back and researching why some of them worked and others failed led us to the idea behind Everybody is Beautiful. Join us on a journey to discover the beauty of your business and learn about the power of Differentiation.

We hope you enjoy reading our perspective and we encourage you to discuss the findings with your team. We look forward hearing from you about your Next Step to make your ideas shine and to become even more beautiful.

by Daniel Kraft & Markus von Aschoff

Published in: Business
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Everybody is Beautiful by Daniel Kraft & Markus von Aschoff

  1. 1. Page 1Everybodyis BeautifulThe Power of Differentiation
  2. 2. Page 2 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  3. 3. Page 3 Your Business is Beautiful, we know this, and you might agree. In order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need your customers to believe it too. We have spend many years helping new ideas to see the light of day, and watched them grow and succeed. Looking back and researching why some of them worked and others failed led us to the idea behind Everybody is Beautiful. Join us on a journey to discover the beauty of your business and learn about the power of Differentiation. We hope you enjoy reading our perspective and we encourage you to discuss the findings with your team. Everybody We look forward hearing from you about your Next Step to make your ideas shine and to become even more beautiful. Is Beautiful Daniel Kraft & Markus von
  4. 4. Page 4 Cinderella was a young woman, living in unfortunate circumstances, but Just as we all appreciate and enjoy beauty, it is often hard to explain it. Why they are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. Why? She appeared in do we all fall in love with the little cute baby? Why does all our logic fly out front of her prince at just the right moment; magic happened, and they lived the window when we meet the love of our life? And do you remember happily ever after… how much you adored that wreck of an apartment you used to live in just because it was your first own place? It seems likely that there were many women available to the prince at that time, and given the strategic value of a relationship between two royal Magic Can Happen families, it was clearly not the smartest choice for him to pick All these things have something in common: we love them. one of the poorest women. But And in our memories, they will always be the most beautiful moments in as symbolized by Cinderella’s our lives – they simply fit. glass slipper – they simply
  5. 5. Page 5 Now, if you think about it, each and everyone – and even everything – is A Good Match beautiful. You just need to find the right environment in which this beauty is appreciated. Some of us are born into the right place and time, while others – like Cinderella – need to work hard to make it happen. When you look at your business you have two choices: you can cut your toes like Cinderella’s two sisters in the fairy tale so that they fit the glass slipper, or you can work hard to find the glass slipper that simply fits. You should also realize that it was not just Cinderella’s life that changed, she also changed the prince’s life for the better. A good match, in both the personal and business worlds, is a win-win situation that makes sense to both
  6. 6. Page 6 What Makes Your Business Beautiful?Who you are. What you do.
  7. 7. Page 7 When two people meet in a romantic sense, the little details can make the difference between never meeting again and living their life together forever. In business relationships, we also have particular details like those: we call them the ‘key differentiators’, as they have the ability to magically turn an ordinary busi- ness relationship into something special. Basically, key differentiators are an expression of who you are and what you do. Who you are: What you do: It is important not to mistake who you are with who you want to be. While this one may seem easy, you need to ask yourself what makes your Just as you can’t keep a facade up for long in a personal relationship, you products and services special in the eyes of your customer. Think of your can’t fake it in business. It is crucial to find out who you really are as an first own apartment: do you remember the great furniture or do you re- organization. member the freedom you enjoyed so much? This is the moment you need • What do customers say about what you stand for? to put aside wishful thinking. • What makes your team unique, what are your customers saying? • Why did your customer really purchase your offering? • Is there anything about your corporate culture that makes you different? • What is the impact that you have had on the life of your customer? • How do the people at your customer refer to your offering?
  8. 8. Page 8 Once you have your initial set of differentiators, the tricky part is to identify those differentiators that really matter – and then carve out your key differentia- tors. The good thing is, you’re not alone in this exercise. Let’s evaluate them using two criteria. Perceived Value: Sustainability of Differentiation: When you look at your list of differentiators, you might realize that many By now you will have identified some really precious information about of them are written in the context of what you want them to be. In order who you are and what you do. In order to build a business, you need to to boil the list down to the absolutely key differentiators, we have learned make sure that the differentiators you focus on are sustainable. Initially that the perceived value to your customer is a very good measure. Maybe you will want to check if you can protect them in some way, maybe even you can have some of your customers (and maybe some partners) rank registering and securing some sort of intellectual property rights for them, each proposed differentiator by the value that they see the differentiator such as patents. But you should also extend your thinking beyond the legal providing to them. This gives you the opportunity to have a dialogue with aspects, and analyze each differentiator according to your ability to main- your customers, and it can provide a compelling outside-in perspective. tain it for the long
  9. 9. Page 9 Be sure to include your partners and customers in the discussion to provide a complete picture. As a customer-centric organization, we suspect you are already constantly scanning, observing and reflecting on what is happening in your environment. Why not apply the same discipline and awareness when as- sessing your list of differentiators?
  10. 10. Page 10 We know that this too might be a painful process, and you may even believe you already know the answers. But it is not just the feedback you receive, it is the entire process of expressing the differentiators outside of your organization and checking them for sustainability that adds value. The good thing about this process is that it concentrates your focus on the differentiators that really matter – the ones that are really key to the business. And just like many individuals struggle their whole life to find good relationships, our businesses need to constantly work on their key differentiators to allow our princes to find us. Are Key To Success Differentiators
  11. 11. Page 11Let the magic begin.
  12. 12. Page 12 While everybody is beautiful, we have learned that it might be hard work The same holds true for a business. You can’t send the CEO to every to find those true key differentiators to make that beauty shine. Now meeting; the only way you can scale is to empower your entire organiza- it is time to take a deeper look in the mirror and reflect on what we tion to live and breath the key differentiators. We have seen it many times: achieved so far. If all employees are rallied behind a common goal, magic can happen! The magic happens when all things align – we have an awesome pitch and we The magic of beauty is that it is not just on the surface; it shines through deliver exactly what makes the customer happy. and through. Once you have found your key differentiators, it is time to check if every part of your organization is empowered to shine when they So, let’s analyze our key differentiators against two additional criteria. take those key differentiators into the field. Think of it like a second date. You can’t wear your favorite shirt again, but if you are really meant for each other, this won’t matter – the magic of love will do its job. Make The Beauty
  13. 13. Page 13 Can we pitch it? Can we deliver it? Pitching in this context is not about selling. It is about the ability to Just as important as your ability to pitch, you need to be able to deliver. It represent who you are and what you do in a consistent, inspiring – even is about preserving the magic when you first got your customer to believe beautiful – manner that makes others believe in you and your ability to in you – and turning it into trust as you deliver on your promises.Does it deliver on your promises. Have your key differentiators and have them mean that you need to make every customer happy? No, but it is all about represented by every layer of your organization. Starbucks is not about the consistent foundation to allow the possibility for every customer to be coffee, it is about a reliable place to stop and recharge; some need the happy. This is an exercise that requires the entire organization to embrace quick option, others may sit down to have a break or to work on their the key differentiators in their day-to-day work life.Think about Starbucks. laptop. Starbucks promises all of that: fast order processing, a familiar If you go into any store in the world and ask for a triple-grande-non-fat- layout in every store, free wifi and power outlets. And of course – coffee. extra-dry-Cappuccino, the barista will know what you want. They might While they buy the same basic coffee beans as everyone else, they know not even speak English, but they will deliver. If you have pitched your story how to pitch them. based on your key differentiators and then you deliver on them, the customer will respect you and trust will be
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  15. 15. Page 15 Let’s pause for a moment and take a look back on your journey so far. You This provides you with all the information you need to articulate the identified a list of potential key differentiators, which express your beauty. current state of your ‘beauty-shining-level’ as a foundation to build on and to measure progress. As a market-centric organization, you took an outside-in perspective and prioritized the differentiators from the perspective of your customer – by analyzing the perceived value for the customer and the sustainability of your differentiation in the market. This led to a prioritized list of them, which enabled you to identify your key differentiators. Then you took the inside-out perspective and checked on your organization’s ability to pitch and to deliver on the key differentiators. Great work! Articulate Beauty Shining
  16. 16. Page 16 So where are you now? Are you a marketing machine, much better at pitching than delivering the key differentiators? Or are you a highly sophisticated engineer, much better at delivery than telling the story? It doesn’t really matter where you are right now. You have learned so much in the process about who you are and what you do – you have clearly defined your key differentiators. Take the next step and allow them to shine, and embrace them throughout your entire organization. It might take a while to get everybody internally to agree on the key differentia- tors, and it might even be harder to implement them into your day-to-day business. But this all provides you with an environment to understand what it takes to make everybody see how beautiful you really
  17. 17. Page 17 Let’s think about Cinderella, one more time. We know is that she must have been an amazing person. With the help of her fairy godmother, she took up all her courage, dressed up and allowed her beauty to shine for the ultimate pitch of her life. And when the time came, Cinderella was the only one able to deliver. Always remember: Everybody is Beautiful – Step Next You are Beautiful! Take
  18. 18. Page 18 The Authors “Do or do not. There is no ‘try’” – Daniel Kraft is Managing Partner and “If you can dream it, you can do it” – Markus von Aschoff is an Associate Co-Founder of ifridge & Company. An optimist with a passion for all things Director at ifridge & Company. With a passion for translating between new, Daniel is fascinated everyday with the energy, motivation and com- technology creators and technology users, Markus has worked with many mitment that unleashes when new ideas and people meet. clients on their strategic positioning. ifridge & Company Believing in new ideas and innovation, we help great people make them a reality. ifridge & Company was founded on 30 years of experience growing compa- nies into market leaders. As a global team, we support innovative entrepreneurs to take their next step. Our 360-degree perspective as managers, advisors, investors and shareholders is the right combination to help companies reach their business goals. About
  19. 19. Page 19We’d love to hear from you.Website: ifridge.comFollow us: America: 419 Lafayette St., 2nd floor, New York, NY 10003Europe: Weskampstr. 29, 26121 Oldenburg, Germany© 2011 ifridge & Company. All Rights Reserved.Thanks to Thomas for this great picture