Differentiating services, products and value is a challenge that nearly every distributor is facing, and many may be overwhelmed with such a formidable, abstract task. But by focusing on four "P"s, distributors can find opportunities to create a competitive advantage, according to Tom Gale and William McCleave in A Framework to Differentiate.
These four dimensions must be addressed when a distributor is searching for ways to differentiate:
- Position: Analyze your company’s strengths, resources and competition to obtain a solid idea of your position in the market. Then, decide what opportunities lay ahead and determine if your company is in a position to take advantage of them.
- Pitch: Review your messaging techniques and goals over time to see the landscape of changes, successes and failures. Use that information to address your current strategies for delivering the pitch.
- Performance: Ensure that your company’s performance – in finances, logistics, facilities, equipment, process effectiveness – is fulfilling the statements in the pitch and overall goals.
- Proof: Communicate to your customers what value they are receiving from you. Proof reminds customers that their needs were identified and fulfilled and that they will continue to benefit from their purchasing decisions with you.
Look at how smart distributors are creating leverage across these four dimensions in A Framework to Differentiate.