The Most Important Two Rules!
How are you different? How are you relevant? If you're not working on those two things every day, you risk becoming a commodity.
In order to succeed today, you must be remarkable. Seth Godin said we must become a Purple Cow to stand out from the herd of sameness that surrounds us. This is especially true in our promotional products industry where we sell the same product from the same suppliers to the same customers in the same colors using the same websites and marketing tools.
Meet with your entire staff and make this your challenge. Come up with 5 ways in which you and your company are completely different than anything your clients have ever seen in the marketplace.
Scott McCain tells the story of a taxi driver who never has to wait in long lines to pick up the next fare. His day is reserved, often in full in advance. His cab is immaculately clean inside and out. When you get in, you'll find a selection of newspapers and magazines. Taxi Terry will introduce himself and ask if you would care for a beverage and provide you with coffee, water or a soft drink. He'll ask what type of music or radio station you prefer. He'll ask if you prefer conversation or a quiet ride. He has a website where you can get your receipt and make a reservation. He makes more money than other cab drivers because he is different than anything else you will ever see in the marketplace.
Be Different. Be Real. Be Remarkable.
The other skill you need is to be more relevant to the needs of your customers. Starbucks did it by coming up with 84,000 different ways to make a cup of coffee so that you can have it exactly like you want it. Disney did it by morphing from cartoon to feature film to television to theme parks to cruise ships while maintaining "magic" and creating memories for families in the most relevant way.