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Lots of Best Practice organizational management focus has homogenized much of the business landscape.  Similar this. Similar that. Similar everything. Coke or Pepsi? Apple or Samsung? Us or ?

What makes the difference – THE BRAND and what you feel you get from it.  And make no mistake, B2B buying decisions are at least as emotional as their consumer counterparts.  A good argument could be made as to why they’re even more so influenced.  Make the wrong choice buying a car for yourself and, well, damn… but your job’s not at risk.  The famous saying, “No one ever got fired for choosing IBM” was universally understood.

Back to the launch project preparation:

Having reached agreement (or at least a consensus) on the answers to Who Are We? detailed in Developing Brands By Design Part 1, it’s time to identify ourselves in the context of the competition.  And to drive home the point that it can’t be assumed is critical, keep in mind that as many as 60 percent of leading companies lost their position by picking the wrong competitor to worry about.  Ford (1970’s)…Kodak…Nokia…

As business guru Mark Twain has been quoted, “The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world…(it’s) is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him…”

We of course don’t operate in a vacuum….and while we’re beavering away at new ideas, so are our competitors more likely than not.  We can’t ignore them…but then again do we know who they REALLY are?

Use the same process as before on the team and find the answers to these questions…

Who are our direct competitors?
•Who are our indirect competitors?
•What differentiates us from them?
•From where else can customers source our proposition?
•Why wouldn’t someone use us?


Next step…let’s try and see forward.  In our next blog we’ll pose some more questions to get the perspective and help choose the launch tactics.