Strategic Differentiation

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Starting the conversation for program 240…

How well does your organization strategically differentiate from the competition? How clear is your organization’s strategy for this?

Host: Jessica Dewell
Guests: Patti HausJade Alexander

What You Will Hear:

How well your product reaches your target market impacts your competitive advantage.

Many companies fail in differentiation.

Research the existing industry to find the ‘norms’ and what can be done different.

Service and product offering are interrelated.

Look at the sameness to find your company’s uniqueness, it’s where your advantage is.

Know who you like to work with and your mission is what makes change.

Strategic differentiation is your competitive advantage.

Know what customers are striving to achieve.

Ask better questions to ensure you are getting useful information.

Know what you offer and what you don’t.

Buy-in and consensus build on your mission and prevent dilution of the brand.

Ask for help!

Conform and non-conform create boundaries.

Mainstream changes, and you must too.

Opportunity can erode your existing product!

Know what innovation is in your industry and market segment.

It is BOLD to go after strategic differentiation and be clear in your strategy.

Notable and Quotable:

Quotes_240_Jade Alexander

Patti Haus 3:12
The only real way to differentiate between yourself and your competition is how well your messaging reaches your target audience. Being different really isn’t enou. To have different products really isn’t even enough. You have to communicate how well your product, unique or not, will help your prospective customers solve whatever problem it was that led them to you.

Jess Dewell 10:38
Strategic differentiation is competitive advantage.

Patti Haus 11:41
Strategy is something you can’t just create. You have to know what they’re striving to achieve.

Quotes_240_Patti Haus

Jade Alexander 12:13
Whatever their questions might be, we always address them. And then we ask questions of our own to make sure more than anything, that we’re the right fit. We don’t want them to work with somebody that is not going to be good fit for them. And we most certainly don’t want to waste their time or money by not being the right option. So it really helps us to make sure that we’re working with the right type of clientele, and that we’re fulfilling their needs right off the bat. Instead of trying to fit ourselves into this box that we’re never going to fit into, we make sure that yes, that is a box that we’re accustomed to being in. Or that’s not really something that we can do. And that really helps us with our strategy to ask the questions and create that dialogue.

Jess Dewell 17:00
We hear these business models. We hear all of these things. We are recognizing the power in knowing exactly who we work with, and who we serve the best, because it prevents dilution of our brand. It prevents the erosion of our credibility on a broader playing scale.

Patti Haus 24:59
You have to do things that are out of your comfort zone as an entrepreneur, and probably not the best place to stay for very long as an entrepreneur. And you really have to be okay with making those hard decisions. But again, it’s also okay to say, “No, I don’t want to do this. I don’t think it fits with my values or it doesn’t fit with my skill set.” I think it’s totally okay. And I think that’s actually empowering to say, “No, we’re not a good fit.”

Jade Alexander 26:17
Yes, you should definitely be putting yourself outside your comfort zone to learn. Learning is great, and continued education is never wasted.

Quotes_240_Jess Dewell

Jade Alexander 27:27
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. We humans are a society. We want to be engaging with other people. And we want to help each other. Now help each other doesn’t mean do it for free. But it does mean to be there to support each other. And the small business community is all about helping each other, because when we survive, we all survive. And so it’s in our best interest to help each other.

Jade Alexander 30:40
There’s a very big difference between conforming and social expectations.

Patti Haus 42:59
It’s innovative to just know who your audience is, and not stuck in the, “I’m going to communicate like everybody else does. I’m gonna follow the easiest path to do what everybody else is doing.” But if you know what matters to your prospects, and to your customers, I think that’s innovative because so few people are doing it



communication, differentiation, decision making, customer profile, quality, business growth, confidence, evidence based


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