Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fooling yourself on differentiation

Many executives are fooling themselves about the extent to which their firms are differentiated from the competition. They make three classic mistakes. First, they are defining and judging differentiation for themselves, rather than asking customers. Second, if they are talking to customers, it's often only their best customers, not the less loyal buyers or those folks who are not customers at this time but could be. Finally, these executives are not asking if points of differentiation are truly driving choice among rival firms, as opposed to distinctions that may be real, but largely inconsequential to the consumers' buying decision.

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