March 10, 2013

When Different is Better

By Patrick Mahan

Taking on the well-established, industry leader? Don't try to be BETTER than them. Aim to be DIFFERENT.

History shows this tactic works better than trying to beat the leader at their own game. Southwest Airlines is a good example. They entered a competitive space dominated by Delta and American Airlines. Now they have become the envy of the airline industry.

Rather than asking: "How can we do the exact same thing as Delta and American Airlines, but better?" they asked the better question: "How can we be different?" And what a difference that has made.

By focusing more on being DIFFERENT and less on being BETTER, ironically, Southwest has made being different, better!

Now take a look at your own business... are you focused on beating the competition at their own game, or differentiating yourself?

Sometimes, running in the OPPOSITE direction is better than trying to catch up and overtake your competitors.

Do you have any examples of this from your own experiences?

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