March 2011

Briggs Mono – A New Kind Of Sports Car

by Paul Simister on March 28, 2011

If you think of a road-going sports car, what images comes into your mind? A red Ferrari, a yellow Lamborghini… even a Bugatti Veyron. But I bet whatever car you think of has at least two seats. Not so with the Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) Mono – it is the first single seat sports car […]

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The Perfect Customer Experience

by Paul Simister on March 26, 2011

If you want to differentiate your business profitably, you need to find ways to add customer value in ways that don’t push up your costs to an extent that eliminates any price and volume benefits you get from making a stronger offer. That’s where a concept I call the Perfect Customer Experience comes in. The […]

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Managing Customer Value by Bradley Gale – Review

by Paul Simister on March 25, 2011

The full title of this excellent book by Bradley T. Gale is “ Managing Customer Value : Creating Quality and Service That Customers Can See” and it is a landmark in the development of the concept of customer value as a way to operationalise differentiation strategies. While Michael Porter argued that the only ways to […]

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From Origin Story To Core Myth

by Paul Simister on March 24, 2011

Many businesses have famous stories of how they began on their way to creating something significant – it’s called an origin story. Think of one of the hottest brands in the world, Apple and you’ve probably heard a story of how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the first personal computers in their parent’s garage. […]

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A Customer Value Map Clarifies Your Position

by Paul Simister on March 22, 2011

There are many ways to differentiate a business and one of the easiest to understand is to find a new position on the customer value map. What Is A Customer Value Map? It’s a graphical representation of your market with price on one axis and customer value (what the customer gets for his or her […]

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What’s So Special About Starbucks?

by Paul Simister on March 17, 2011

I intend to focus on companies and brands which have secured a special place in markets and as it is about to pass its fortieth anniversary, Starbucks is a good place to start. The first store opened in Seattle on March 30, 1971. 40 years later, over 17,000 locations in 55 countries and nearly $11 […]

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Your Core Concept

by Paul Simister on March 16, 2011

I want to tell you about an idea I learnt from one of my mentors, Rich Schefren. It’s called your Core Concept and it has the power to differentiate you in the minds of your potential customers and clients. The Core Concept is the big idea which is used throughout your marketing and goes deep […]

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The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) And Rosser Reeves

by Paul Simister on March 15, 2011

I’m sure you’ve heard that your business needs a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) because the idea is banded around by most marketing consultants and coaches. Unfortunately the meaning of USP tends to change depending on who you listen to although the point about differentiating your business and your offer from competitors is consistent. The Origins […]

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UK Top 20 Brands 2010

by Paul Simister on March 13, 2011

New figures from Nielsen show that, despite the tough times, brands are still flourishing in the United Kingdom. UK Top Brands The top 20 brands in £m of sales for the UK in 2010 are:

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22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries & Laura Ries

by Paul Simister on March 11, 2011

“The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” by Al Ries and Laura Ries is a no nonsense guide to how to how to build a brand for your business which attracts customers and increases sales and profits. The Big Business Branding Problem Small Businesses Must Not Copy I hate a lot of advertising done by big […]

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Any Woman Will Do Says Desperate Man

by Paul Simister on March 11, 2011

It is very tempting when you are starting a business to cast your net too widely and to try to appeal to many different types of customer. The problem is that by being so general, you finish up talking to no one. I think it’s easier to see how crazy this is by stepping out […]

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Before you spend a fortune on marketing and communicating messages to targeted customers, you must find a way to make your business stand out. That’s what this entire Differentiate Your Business blog is all about so you’ll find plenty in here about being distinctive in a crowded marketplace. Please take the opportunity to look at […]

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Local Food Is Not So Local

by Paul Simister on March 8, 2011

“Where” is one of the 7 big questions of business success which helps to differentiate one business from another but it seems that it is being abused by some food producers. It usually refers to where you are based which may pass on convenience advantages but it can also be a mark of quality. Think […]

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Cigarettes Stripped Of Brand Identifiers In The UK

by Paul Simister on March 8, 2011

The Sunday Times reported on its front page that Tobacco companies will be forced to sell cigarettes in plain, unbranded packaging in the latest bid to discourage people from smoking. It is believed that generic packaging without logos, colour schemes and graphics will reduce the appeal of smoking, in particular to young people.

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Exploring Corporate Strategy by Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whitington is a core text in many of the UK MBA courses and whilst it is now in the 8th edition and I read it some time ago, I was overwhelmed by how dull it was. Exploring Corporate Strategy is a strategy text book and […]

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I was reading my good friend,  Ian Brodie’s excellent blog and he introduced me to the term “vertical differentiation” in this article, Ian helps consultants, coaches and other professionals to get more clients and he was saying how difficult it is for these people to be unique.

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Guru To The Internet Marketing Gurus

by Paul Simister on March 7, 2011

I was watching or listening to Rich Schefren recently and he talked about his positioning as the “guru to the Internet marketing gurus” which he picked up from someone. I think that someone is me. I did a quick search on “guru to the Internet marketing gurus” and many of the references come from my […]

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SEO expert Nikki Pilkington reminded me recently of the three words test. The idea is simple and works for business branding and personal branding. What three words do you want customers and clients to think of when they hear your name or think of you?

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I’ve not been well recently and that means that I’ve been watching too much daytime TV. Still it’s given me a chance to catch up with the Batman of my childhood and the latest incarnation of Superman. Sure both wear capes and their underpants over their tights but Batman and Superman are clearly differentiated so […]

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No BS Marketing To The Affluent by Dan Kennedy

by Paul Simister on March 3, 2011

The full title is “No BS Marketing To The Affluent: No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide To Getting Rich” by Dan Kennedy Buy this book. “No BS Marketing To The Affluent” is that good. You may not agree with everything Dan Kennedy writes… and you may not like the world it presents […]

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Marmite: A Classic Love It or Hate It Brand

by Paul Simister on March 2, 2011

I keep telling clients “no one buys OK”. To create a strong preference in buyers, you need to be prepared to have many others take a look and reject what you have to offer because you’re wrong for them. Bland and boring doesn’t cut it. The classic love it or hate it brand is Marmite.

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7 Big Questions & Answers Of Business Success

by Paul Simister on March 2, 2011

How do you differentiate your business? You answer the 7 big questions of business success in a way that is distinctive:

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Britain’s Top Brands 2011

by Paul Simister on March 1, 2011

One way to differentiate your business is through branding although different people think branding means different things. There’s an irony there since branding is meant to clarify the position of what a product stands for. The Centre Of Brand Analysis has come up with its list of Superbrands 2011 and it contains some surprises. There […]

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