Media executive Shari Redstone said it best, “I always say, complacency is the kiss of death." Anyone who has run a business or organization is well aware of the consequences of remaining idle or simply settling for operating an average business. Long gone is the old adage, “If it ain’t broke... don’t fix it." In order to succeed in this highly competitive world it’s critical to actively seek the next new-business opportunity.

But this can certainly be a daunting task. Especially in today’s customer centric world where the buyer dictates the terms of not only the sale, but also the opportunity to have an initial conversation. In order to break free from the deadly claws of complacency it is crucial to think differently from your competitors.

So, what exactly does it mean to think differently? First and foremost, it means you need to be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone. It also means you need to start thinking from the perspective of your customers. And it means that you need to take an educated risk. So, let’s take a closer look at these 3 factors.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is always a challenge especially if you’re strategy is to simply compare your business to the competition. To avoid being the “me too” business you need to focus on what makes you different. We’re not talking about being better, faster, or cheaper. Differentiating your business means zeroing in on delivering something of value to your customers that is totally unique and can’t be immediately replicated by your competition.

One of the best ways to discover your unique value proposition is to think like your customer. Remember, the customer controls the buying process, so it just makes sense to identify the reason they do business with you. Make sure to include your sales staff in this internal discovery process since they interact with your customers as much as anyone on your staff. Better yet, ask your customers directly if there was one particular reason why they chose your business over your competitors. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Here’s where the educated risk comes in play. Once you’ve identified your unique quality it’s time to own it. Start by creating a marketing plan designed to initiate conversations with prospects that you feel would be receptive to learning about your unique value proposition. Every message that is crafted for the plan should focus on the unique quality. Once you start the conversation then you can continue to nurture the prospect through the customer journey.

Change is hard only when you don’t have a clear path to achieve the end goal. At a+h marketing we partner with businesses that know they have a great story to tell but just need help designing the marketing strategy to make sure the story is crafted and shared with the right audience, at the right time, and through the right channel. If you found this article interesting, we’d love to hear from you. Just send us an email at
CATEGORIES: Marketing Tips