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Differentiation By What

7 Big Questions & Answers Of Business Success

How do you differentiate your business?

You answer the 7 big questions of business success in a way that is distinctive:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • How?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How Much?

Is differentiating your business really that simple?

Yes and No.

These questions are an immensely powerful way to design your business to be different from your competitors.

But, while you have the ideas and answers, it’s not your opinion that matters in the end.

Your potential customers have the power to reward a well-designed and differentiated business.

And to get your reward, you need to motivate them by appealing to their self-interest.

You’ve probably seen the letters WIIFM before if you read business blogs.

They stand for “What’s In It For Me?”

It’s a question you must keep in your mind at all times because if you don’t, your market will ignore you.

You need to answer the 7 big questions of business success by looking through your customers eyes to make sure that what you are doing is adding value to them and strengthening your relationship.

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning

Sex Cereal – A Breakfast Cereal To Boost Libido

I look looking for products that are new, different and innovative so when I read about Sex Cereal, I knew it had to feature in my differentiation examples.

Sex Cereal is promoted as the world’s most Passionate Cereal and the first gender-based wholefood and its promotional slogan is “big life living, fuel your fire”.

It comes in his and hers varieties.

SEXCEREAL for HIM is blended with ingredients to support testosterone.

SEXCEREAL for HER is blended with ingredients to support hormonal balance.

How I bet they wish the slogan “snap, crackle and pop” hadn’t already been taken.

In my dimensions of differentiation, this breakfast cereal comes into differentiation by what, differentiation by who and differentiation by why.

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning

Grom Ice Cream – Is It The Best?

I have just come back from a week’s holiday in one of my favourite places, Viareggio on the Tuscany coat in Italy and I discovered Grom ice cream.

And what a discovery it represents because I had some of the best ice cream ever.

Rich, creamy and full of flavour.I’d love to say that there were no calories in it as well but I have to admit that after over-indulging, I am struggling to keep my belt buckled at the same hole.

I love Italy and one of the best things about it is the ice cream. So much of it is yummy.

But Grom is special and definitely worthy of a mention on my differentiation blog.

I am nervous of differentiation by being better – what my friend Ian Brodie calls vertical differentiation – because it is easy to claim, difficult to prove.  In a world where we have become increasingly sceptical buyers, claims of “the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted” aren’t seen as irresistible promises which make you want to try but hype.

Grom Ice Cream

Grom are a chain of ice cream shops that started in Italy in 2003 in Torino and they now have over thirty stores in Italy and have opened more in Malibu, New York, Osaka, Tokyo and Paris. None in the UK yet but hopefully that will happen.

Grom are dedicated to using the finest ingredients in their ice creams and even have their own farm to provide fruit.

You can learn more at the Grom website.

What Makes Grom Ice Cream So Special?

There are a lot of ice cream shops in Viareggio and as it’s a resort we go to regularly, we’ve probably tried them all.

Several things attracted us to Grom.

First, it was straight opposite our hotel, the Grand Hotel Royal and it has replaced the wedding shop that must have been there twenty years. Grom wasn’t there two years ago when we were last in Viareggio and human nature is to want to try something new.

Second, there always seemed to be a long line of Italians queuing up for their ice cream fix. We ignored it on our first day and went somewhere else we liked but by day two, the Sunday we couldn’t resist. It took us about 20 minutes to get served through no fault of the four young women serving who were working hard. It was just that busy.

I wanted Bacio – one of my regulars – and I thought I’d try Crema di Grom (with biscuit and chocolate chips) but they’d sold out of the Crema. They had the next day too which increased my determination to try it before we came home.

The Basis Of Grom Ice Cream Differentiation

It’s differentiation by what. The ice cream is superb. In some ways this is vertical integration based on being better rather than horizontal differentiation.

Looking at the website, it seems the flavours change with the month which is a great idea. I want to go to Viareggio to see the famous Carnival in February and now I want to go because Grom do Zabaione ice in the winter.

It was also differentiation by how many. The social proof of seeing so many Italians queuing up for so long was very powerful. This popularity does have a downside. We had a 15 minute wait to be served on the second visit before we adjusted our thinking to having our ice cream when it was quiet.

Grom are also strong on environmental issues, an impression I gained from the store and the website although I can’t say that influenced my choice.  My strategy canvas was dominated by the quality of the ice cream but they did lose our business several times. The first because we wanted to treat ourselves to an ice cream sundae and the second because the flavours on offer didn’t include a regular favourite.

Is Grom Ice Cream The Best?

I’ve always loved Vivoli in Florence, ever since we first discovered in over twenty years ago. I’d never seen a place with so many great flavours and so busy but its clientèle does seem to be mainly tourists. Do go there if you are in Florence, you won’t be sorry.

I also love La Sorbetteria Castiglione in Bologna which is well worth the walk away from the main tourist centre.

In some ways I prefer the image of an independent ice cream parlour than a chain. Somehow it’s more authentic to believe that the ice cream is being made in the back room but I will be looking for the Grom ice cream parlour in every town we go to in Italy.

Grom ice cream is that good.

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning

1000+ Queue To Buy A Doughnut

Last week a new doughnut shop launched in Cardiff and more than 1,000 people queued up with some waiting for more than two hours.

That’s pretty impressive but Krispy Kreme doughnuts don’t just have a bit of strawberry jam in the middle but exciting varieties like lemon meringue pie and coffee kreme. This is differentiation by what – the product is unique and not available anywhere else. It also appeals to the senses of sight, taste and smell as another form of answering the question “how can we be different?”

To put this queue into perspective, it was twice the number who queued up to buy the new Apple iPad 2 and you know what devoted fans Apple creates.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are very expensive and like Starbucks, proves that for the right kind of customer experience, buyers are prepared to pay much more.

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning