When business gurus Robert Kaplin and David Norton wrote their 1996 paper ‘Strategy Maps’ they came to a conclusion that most of us already know. They said, “Strategy is based on a differentiated customer value proposition. Clarity of this value proposition is the single most important dimension of strategy”.
Competing on price alone isn’t sustainable
In other words, your business needs to be different and you need to be able to clearly articulate why you are different. The reason is that without a point of difference you will, sooner or later, find yourself competing purely on price. Not a long-term, sustainable solution to run a successful business.
Through our daily interactions with channel partners, we know you operate in a crowded market that is highly competitive. So how can you set yourselves apart from the crowd and benefit your bottom line?
Three ways to set yourself apart
1 Solve a problem
Understanding your customers’ pain points brings big opportunity to demonstrate your differentiators.
For example, dealing with numerous office equipment suppliers is time-consuming and frustrating. And when you consider the number of manufacturers your customer has to work with just to get the printers working, you’ll appreciate that this can add up to a major drain on time and resources.
Your ability to solve this problem by offering toner supplies for all their installed base of printers – regardless of brand – solves this problem very neatly. They get a one-stop shop experience and can have total confidence in Xerox branded goods and guarantees.
2 Add value and innovate
Being a trusted supplier by getting to know your customer and their business will help set you apart from other competitors. It means you can start to add value to your customer’s business by offering them the right solution for their business.
For example – With Xerox Supplies Service you can help customers save time and money on all their printing needs (regardless of printer brand). This free, cloud-based software tool monitors all your customer’s print devices and notifies you when they need replacement supplies.
You customer will never run out supplies again, store excess stock or have to allocate time, resource and headspace to the reordering process. Now that’s a win-win that also drives good profit margins.
3 Look to your best customers
Your best customers will usually be able to tell you what makes you different. Ask them why they chose to work with you, why they continue to do business and why they are confident enough to refer your business. Be bold and ask them if you can use their comments as proof points for your website or be a case study.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Once you have gathered together all of the good things that make your business stand out from your competition, communicate it through every customer-facing channel you can. Make sure everyone knows what your organisation is famous for and use it to build your existing customer business and to win new clients.
How have you decided on what makes your business different and how important is this for you? Share your comments below.
Subscribe to the Channel Partner Connection and receive email updates when we publish a new article.