Differentiating In The Flat-World – Creativity Is The Key

In a world where there are zillion products and a million service providers spread across the globe competing with each other, simply producing knowledge-based products or service offerings is not enough. If you have started manufacturing something, then chances are that within a few months a Chinese manufacturer will outdo you in terms of quality, cost, and features. If you are offering some service then you might notice that a lot of your clients and prospects are outsourcing offshore to save cost, time, and resources. How do you survive in such a world?

The solution: Differentiating yourself in the mind of your prospect

Building a unique identity of your brand in the hearts and minds of your prospects is more important than simply producing a high quality product or service. Today’s marketplace is no longer responsive to the strategies that worked in the past. There are just too many products, too many companies, and too much marketing noise – online and offline. In today’s over communicated society, the only hope to score big is to be selective, focused, and creative. It is through imagination and innovation that you can stay ahead in the only arena that matters – the marketplace. Here are some of the companies who have leveraged innovation to gain greater market share:

Why is Dell a pioneer in selling personal computers?

On an average day, Dell sells 140,000 to 150,000 computers – all this without having even a single retail outlet. This has been made possible through Dell’s unique direct model that starts and ends with customers. Through this innovative and over-efficient supply chain model, Dell is able to provide customers with superb value; high quality at low cost; relevant technology; customized systems; superior service and support; and products and services that are easy to buy and use. Dell has utilized creativity to build the most efficient path to the customer.

Why do people swear by Apple?

Since its inception, Apple has focused on only one area – innovation. Apple sells digital experiences beyond compare and that is why Apple has an extremely loyal customer base be it for Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, or iPad. Apple has defied conventional wisdom time and again, and has given its customers with unique creative products, services, and retail experience that no one else has to offer. It has revolutionized all the arenas that it has entered through infinite creativity and the sensitivity to understand the pulse of the market.

Why is Google the top-of-the-mind search engine?

There are hundreds of other search engines on the web, but Google leaves them all behind. Why? Because it offers a lot more value and allied services than any other search engine.  Through creativity and innovation, and focus on the user, Google has built a solid search platform that offers integrated, relevant, and faster results. Google has marched forward to offer a slew of other online services that are free for the users. At Google, great is just not good enough as it constantly strives to deliver more than is expected.

Why do you think of Domino’s when you think of pizza?

“30 minutes or free” guarantee has made Domino’s the top pizza delivery experts who have an optimized supply chain and delivery mechanisms that ensure fastest delivery when you are hungry. This creativity in marketing and process optimization is the reason behind Domino’s excellence in pizza delivery market.

Invest in creativity

Creativity is not only related to the advertising and marketing messages that you use – they are only the tip of the iceberg. The real creativity that can transform your business significantly comes through unique ideas that you implement in supply chain management, product or service design, intellectual property development, business operations, client relations, and marketing. It helps to move away from tried and tested models and invest resources in thinking creatively to modify old ways to give way for new. Brands like Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Sony, Wal-Mart, Nokia, eBay, Amazon, and many more have been able to retain their global leadership position only through dedicated investments in creativity, and innovation. There are many case studies of companies who have dropped out of the race or have stagnated due to lack of creativity.

Small and medium sized companies can use creativity to differentiate their offerings and create a buzz. One such example is Threadless.com, a community-centered online apparel store. Members of the Threadless community submit t-shirt designs online; the designs are then put to a public vote. A small percentage of submitted designs are selected for printing and sold through an online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit. This innovative way of involving the customers and making them a part of the organization has resulted in enormous numbers of Threadless fans.

Is your business running just like any other business in the same domain? If the answer is yes, then it is time for you to get ready and start thinking creatively.

All the best!

About the Author

Dave Otfinoski, CEO of My Business Assistant or “MBA”, has more than twenty-five years of executive, hands-on experience with small and mid-sized businesses. As CEO of MBA, Dave manages a team of experienced virtual assistants who have extensive expertise in the realms of small business operations, bookkeeping services, website design, SEO, content creation and call center operations. Outstanding client service and quality performance are the hallmarks of both My Business Assistant and the MBA team. We look forward to providing you with the Virtual Assistance that you may require to enhance your own business strategies. Please feel free to contact us at http://www.MyBusinessAssistant.com or call us at 800.993.9622 with any questions or inquiries that you may have.