Differentiation

How To Find Your Niche Market

by Paul Simister on March 8, 2013

In this article, I will look at the issues involved with finding and selecting a niche market that will help your business to attract, convert and keep customers. What Is A Niche Market? A niche market is a small segment of a bigger, more general market that you can specifically target in your marketing and […]

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Differentiation & Business Start-Ups

by Paul Simister on March 1, 2013

Is differentiation and how you will attract and convert customers a vital issue that needs your attention while you are thinking about starting a business or is it something that you can afford to leave until your business is more established? The Role Of Differentiation In Business Start Up Planning This is one of those […]

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How To Differentiate A Jewellery Business

by Paul Simister on February 14, 2013

How to differentiate a jewellery business is another of my trade and industry focused guides to differentiation. This is just an introduction to the issue of differentiating a jewellery business and not definitive. It’s intended to give you ideas if you are a jeweller who is struggling to find a clear position in your market […]

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Differentiation And Cost Leadership Or Cost Leadership?

by Paul Simister on November 20, 2011

In his book Competitive Strategy, Michael Porter introduces the idea of generic competitive strategies and says that a business must choose between differentiation and cost leadership or risk being “stuck in the middle”, missing on the high profitability that an effective strategy for one or the other.

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Who’s Reading Your English Website?

by Paul Simister on November 9, 2011

I must admit that I am fascinated by my Google Analytics statistics – numbers and marketing combined – wow. But is your target market connecting with you as well as it could?

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The Consumer Value Chain

by Paul Simister on November 1, 2011

In the classic book, Competitive Advantage, strategy guru Michael Porter introduced the value chain in a stylised diagram based on a manufacturing business but many people overlook the idea of a consumer value chain. The Consumer Value Chain A business performs many different activities to create its own products or services which it intends to […]

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I introduced the concept of order winners and order qualifiers in my article on key success factors and now I want to delve into this important topic in more detail. Order Winners, Orders Qualifiers & Customer Value Customers make their purchasing decision emotionally and logically on a perception of customer value for money.The unconscious mind […]

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The Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix

by Paul Simister on September 27, 2011

When I was reading Business Innovation For Dummies by Alexander Hiam, I came across the Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix. I think it’s a powerful way to think about differentiation in your product mix. What Is The Innovator’s Portfolio Matrix? It is a 2 x 2 matrix (much loved by strategy consultants of course) with uniqueness on […]

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Value Disciplines & Differentiation

by Paul Simister on September 23, 2011

The value disciplines are an interesting extension to Michael Porter’s generic strategies for competitive advantage. The Origin Of The Value Disciplines The value disciplines have been developed and promoted by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in a famous Harvard Business Review article “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines” and in their book “The Discipline Of […]

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Bowman’s Strategy Clock – Your Strategic Options

by Paul Simister on September 1, 2011

Bowman’s Strategy Clock was introduced in my favourite book on strategy – Competitive and Corporate Strategy by Cliff Bowman and David Faulkner, a lost classic text. What is Bowman’s Strategy Clock? Bowman’s Strategy Clock is a diagrammatic representation of the strategic options a business has to move in the customer value map – the relationship […]

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The strategy canvas is an essential tool to help you focus on establishing a differentiation based competitive advantage. It goes by different names –¬† W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne call the Strategy Canvas in Blue Ocean Strategy, Cliff Bowman calls the Customer Matrix, I call a Customer Value Attribute Map and others call it […]

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The book Business Model Generation: A Handbook For Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur is a remarkable triumph of visual design. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book like it before. I have some criticisms about how easy it is to read and the fact that the content is […]

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How To Differentiate Your Internet Marketing Business

by Paul Simister on August 5, 2011

If you are an Internet entrepreneur then you need to differentiate your business. The very way that the search engines work means that when the potential customer types in a search phrases, Google and the others will do their best to find the most relevant pages. That groups competitors together.

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4 Niche Marketing Myths

by Paul Simister on August 4, 2011

The book Battling Big Box referred to four niche marketing myths identified by entrepreneur, speaker and author Harvey Mackay which I thought were well worth telling you about. Many business advisers and marketing experts say “get a niche” without saying much about how to choose a niche. Let’s Go Niche Marketing Myths-Busting:

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“Differentiate Your Business” Says The Professor

by Paul Simister on August 3, 2011

I had fiverr.com recommended to me a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t resist Professor Hans Von Puppet. . . What do you think? To get the Profit Tipping Point report, just fill in your name and email address in the box on the right. Paul Simister is the business strategy coach who helps […]

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Small Businesses Can Have A Competitive Advantage

by Paul Simister on August 3, 2011

I’m shocked when I talk to business owners who are under the mistaken belief that only big businesses can have a competitive advantage. It’s not true – you can have a small business with a strong and compelling competitive advantage and in many ways I think it’s much easier to develop a competitive edge in […]

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Niche Marketing And Differentiation

by Paul Simister on August 2, 2011

Last Friday I was asked “Paul, what’s the difference between niche marketing and differentiation?” I can understand the confusion because niche marketing and differentiating your business are related concepts but you can: use niche marketing principles and not be differentiated; or differentiate your business and not practice niche marketing. Most of the time, successful businesses […]

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Strategic Differentiation

by Paul Simister on July 28, 2011

Is there a difference between strategic differentiation and non-strategic differentiation? I think there is and it’s important to understand. It’s easy to fall into the trap that all differentiation is strategic because differentiation is one of the main ways to creating competitive advantage and that’s at the very core of business strategy.

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It’s very nice to build a business that is different and distinctive. It gives you a feeling of superiority because you’ve created something that you can be really proud of. But we can’t escape from the basic idea of differentiation…

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Beyond Price by Mary Kay Plantes & Robert Finfrock

by Paul Simister on July 21, 2011

Beyond Price is a book about how to escape harsh price competition by differentiating your business so it was bound to catch my attention. The full title is Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company In Ways That Really Matter by Mary Kay Plantes and Robert D. Finfrock. The problem with reading a book that deals with […]

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Too Scared To Differentiate Your Business?

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

Let me be blunt. If you haven’t differentiated your business is it because you are too scared to be different? In a survey people said that there were more scared of public speaking than dying! That’s a bit extreme but some people don’t want to be the centre of attention, all eyes on them, watching […]

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How To Differentiate Your Accountancy Practice

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

I’ve been interested in the big question of “how to differentiate an accountancy practice” since 1981. That was when I was in the last year at University studying Economics and Accounting and I started looking for a job as a Chartered Accountant trainee. At that time the profession was dominated by the Big Eight and […]

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What Do You Want To Be Famous For?

by Paul Simister on July 20, 2011

Today I feature another excellent article from my good friend and mastermind partner Ian Brodie of IanBrodie.com who helps coaches and consultants get more clients. The article looks at your positioning or branding¬† in terms of what you want to be famous for? What big idea, concept or expertise do you want people to link […]

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Differentiate Your Business, Your Product, Your Offer

by Paul Simister on July 19, 2011

If differentiation is the art, science and practice of creating buying preference with customers and prospective customers, it begs the question… “What is it a customer is really buying?” The answer is one of the classic…

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There’s a little silent refrain that goes on in people’s minds whenever you bring up differentiation. I think that for many business owners, its almost an excuse. “It’s different in my industry; it’s hyper-competitive and it’s such a mature industry, it’s a waste of time pursuing differentiation”. I want to introduce you to a concept […]

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Competitive Edge vs Competitive Advantage

by Paul Simister on July 15, 2011

I’ve been guilty of using the phrases “competitive edge” and “competitive advantage” as synonyms for each other and to a large extent I think that’s valid. Both can relate to a benefit one business has over a particular competitor or all the other competitors in the practical market. But I’ve been forced to have a […]

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I thought I’d use a recent experience as a customer to write about hotel marketing strategy and in particular how to differentiate a small hotel or bed and breakfast establishment. Hotel Marketing Strategy – General Thoughts Before I Get Specific The 7 P’s of marketing are useful for thinking about your hotel marketing strategy with […]

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Why Did You Buy That?

by Paul Simister on June 8, 2011

If you want to learn about how to influence and persuade your target market to buy from you or to buy more often from you, then you need to understand their wants, needs and motivations. And if you want to understand other people, there’s no better place to start learning than by understanding yourself. In […]

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Sell The Sizzle And The Steak

by Paul Simister on May 25, 2011

It was Elmer Wheeler who famously said “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Elmer Wheeler is the author of the fascinating book “Tested Sentences That Sell” which shows how fragile the buyer’s mind is and how one way of something encourages a buying decision and a slight variation is rejected. Although I respect what Elmer […]

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Differentiate Or Die…or Differentiate And Prosper

by Paul Simister on May 24, 2011

“Differentiate or Die!” That’s a dramatic phrase isn’t it and it’s one I’ve seen a few times since I decided to specialise in helping small businesses to differentiate themselves effectively. Differentiate or Die is also the title of a popular book by branding and positioning expert Jack Trout. I’ve seen it in the bookshops but […]

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