Hugh McLeod at GapingVoid art made the print below based on a talk I gave in Banff several years ago. The day “Out-Care the Competition” was born.
Why out-care your competition?
There is always someone willing to sell what you have, or what you do, for a cheaper price. So how do you compete? How do you attract customers in a race to the bottom industry? (Hint, all industries eventually become a race to the bottom). Simply differentiating yourself won’t work; your competitors know how to be different too. Your only option is to care more. Care more about your art. Care more about your service. Care more about your product development. Care more about how you follow up. When it comes down to it, we love the companies that show they care more in some way. Or, as Rory Sutherland would put it, the companies that signal they will be around for a long time generally show their customers that they care more.
There are only two types of businesses, the cost leader and the differentiator. Which one are you?
Are you Walmart, McDonald’s, or Superstore? If you are any of these companies, you are the cheapest in the market. Congrats! You don’t need to be different. You just need to cut enough costs each year so that your competitors can never offer as low of a price. The problem with this strategy is that if you aren’t Walmart, McDonald’s or Superstore, someone has deeper pockets than you do and is willing to go broke long after you’ve given up.