What Superlative does your business own?
What is your business best at? If you were to finish this sentence – what words would you use?
“We deliver the most (or best) __________ to our customers!”
If you’re like the majority of businesses out there… and you’re honest about it, you probably can’t finish that sentence. And that’s okay for now. The real question is are you trying to be the best at something and if so are you clear on what that is both internally and externally?
A couple of months ago, I happened across a story about a new company that’s a partnership between a guy in New Zealand and a tech guy in San Francisco. They started Allbirds with the idea of disrupting the shoe market. Their idea was to create a company that could develop the world’s most comfortable shoe in an environmentally friendly way, they only use renewable materials (mostly merino wool) and they are socially responsible. Their first product is the Allbirds Wool Runners – an ultra-comfortable walking shoe made almost entirely from merino wool.
I likely would have been intrigued just with their story and their approach to launching the business, but I was really sold by the idea that they were the MOST comfortable shoes you’d ever own. It’s a dramatic claim, but they had a lot of testimonials and reasons to back it up.
I love trying new things, and I was looking for a great pair of shoes that were comfortable, so I ordered a pair. And…yes, these really are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I’ve been wearing them for 2 months now and I can definitely attest that they are a pleasure to put on and to wear. They’re not really built for power hiking (or running…despite being called runners) but they are fantastic for wearing out and about or just doing daily stuff.
They don’t have a lot of options in terms of colors or designs – although the New Zealand website has a lot more options than they have in the US but even in the last couple of months, they’ve added more choices. If you’re looking for some new shoes – I’d strongly recommend giving these a try, I can’t imagine anyone not loving them.
What ‘Most’ can you deliver?
But let’s get back to your business. If you’ve ever stressed about sales and marketing… and that would be pretty much anyone in business, ever, then you know how important it is to find a way to stand out and differentiate yourself from the competition. If you’re competing as one of many, it’s a painful uphill battle and every day becomes a slog as you try to yell louder than your competition in the hopes of landing the next sale.
However, when you are the best _____, or when you offer the most _______, or the fastest ______, then all of the sudden, life becomes a LOT easier.
There are a couple of important caveats to keep in mind when you’re thinking about this:
#1 Whatever superlative you’re delivering must be something that your best customers care about. If you sell farm equipment, having the most colorful tractors probably isn’t going to do much for you, but go with the most durable, or the most efficient or the most cost-effective and you’re onto something.
#2 You have to live up to your claim, every single day. In fact, your business needs to be built around supporting that claim, complete with an ongoing commitment to finding new and better ways to keep improving on that ‘Most’.
Admittedly, this seems like a tall order. Obviously, there can only be one ‘best’ in any given category, but you do have the flexibility of picking which category you want to compete in. You can narrow the focus down in several ways – it could be geographic (Best Business Coach in Kansas City), it could be by industry (best accounting firm for dentists) or even a demographic (best wealth management for working women). You get to choose the field that you want to compete in – but if you want to win in the long run, you’re going to have to be known for something.
What are you known for?
When’s the last time you thought about your branding and what you deliver? We’d love to hear your superlative? What do you think of this idea? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach