Recently I was taking the exams to renew my Texas Real Estate license, which I have had since early 2003. I was struck by the simplicity of one of the principles on the test which was taken from a gold standard in the field of business books, The Myth of Excellence by Crawford and Matthews. They referenced that every business transaction can be broken down into 5 basic attributes: Price, Product, Access, Service, and Experience.
Regardless of the industry, the size of organization, or if we are the actual ‘transaction’ in question – these attributes are the constant. And the other truism is that it is very difficult (if not impossible) to be the very best at every single attribute. The key is to dominate the competition on one attribute, differentiate from the competition on the second attribute and be on ‘industry par’ on the other three attributes.
Think about it – Walmart dominates on price and differentiates on product. Ritz Carlton dominates on experience and differentiates on service. Sewell Lexus in Dallas dominates on service and differentiates on quality. Every organization has the ability to choose their strategy and execute where they can become #1 in their space.
The same is true with each of us in our professions and our roles in our respective organizations. We build our reputations and brands based on how we fulfill these same attributes. Are we accessible to our people, our customers, our partners? Are we a subject matter expert on anything? (We need to be!) Are we in service to our clients and meet them when and how they need us? Do we bring and apply our experience, track record, and knowledge acquired through our journey up until now? We are the product – and these are just a few of the attributes we can bring to the table.
There is nothing revolutionary about this particular blog, yet this basic approach helped remind me to put things into a concise framework. As many of you have heard from me say, our brand is built through consistency. What do we want others to think, say, or do each time they interact with us? Our brand is built through a combination of these 5 basic attributes – and how we ‘show up’ each and every time.