As promised in my last Blog “Is Your Business Commodity or Value Based?” I would like to discuss the definition of your product, the total definition of your product, the real definition of your product. First, a little background. I have too often encountered business owners and professionals who stop at the obvious definition of their product, “I’m a pediatrician, I provide medical care to kids,” never either consciously or unconsciously going deeper. And if the owner doesn’t fully understand what his or her company is delivering, what are the chances that their team consistently delivers the complete product? That is why I consider understanding of the complete definition the product or service of a business one of the fundamentals of having an exceptional business.
In my last Blog, I said “Once you have determined your clients, customers or patients (CCPs) definition of value, you must marry it to your product or service in order to have your UVP (Unique Value Proposition).” Without a genuine UVP, you are doomed to playing the features leap frog game with your competitors. So how do we marry our CCPs definition of value with our product or service?
The answer is simple, but not easy. You and your team must answer “Why should I be your customer?” from the customer’s point of view. One way to accomplish this is to try this exercise that I use with my clients; make a list of 100 reasons someone who fits the profile of your ideal, not your only, customer should do business with you. The easy part is putting the first five or six on the list. After that it gets progressively more difficult. I must be honest and tell you that only one client has gotten to 100. After eliminating the duplicates, we got down to a list of more than 80 value elements, each of which were part of their Total Product Definition (TPD).
Returning to the pediatrician, in addition to providing medical care to kids, her TPD includes such factors as; ease of parking, short wait times for appointments and in the waiting room, waiting room decor and activities, how friendly is the team, is the office child and parent friendly, to list just a few of the more obvious examples. Note that the list should include both tangible and intangible items. The tangible items, such as very short wait time, are easier to copy than intangible items such as having a friendly office atmosphere.
Once you have determined your TPD, you must constantly communicate it both internally and to your CCPs. That means you and your team must live it, breath it, understand it and consistently deliver the TPD to your market. Your TPD is your competitive advantage, the deeper and more detailed it is, the harder it is for your competition to duplicate.
My ActionCOACH colleagues and I will be happy to assist you in developing your Total Product Definition.