When companies become obsessed with the pursuit of excellence, they often reach new levels of greatness. – Guy Kawasaki
I’ve been reading Guy Kawasaki’s Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition. For those of you who don’t know who Guy is, he was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing Apple’s Macintosh computer in 1984. He’s also an author, speaker, investor and business advisor.
As I was reading a chapter called The Art of Driving Your Competition Crazy, I knew I had to share it with you. His advice isn’t anything earth-shattering, but think of it as a refresher course in Business 101.
If you are constantly innovating and serving your customers, you will keep your competition off-balance. However, companies go astray when defeating the competition becomes more important than taking care of customers.
Here are some addtional suggestions from Guy Kawasaki on how to achieve a new level of greatness:
Know who you are
Why is your organization in business? What is its purpose? If you don’t understand what your company stands for, then it’s high time you get introspective and figure it out. Before you can drive your competitor crazy, you need to be able to answer, “How will a customer know the difference between them and you?”
Know who your customer is
What does your customer want from you? And for that matter, what doesn’t your customer want? Good companies listen to what their customers say they want, but a great company anticipates what their customer wants, before they know it.
Know who your competition is
How can you drive your competitors crazy if you don’t know who they are? You also need to understand their strengths and weaknesses by buying their products and services, thereby becoming their customer. Nothing beats hands-on experience.
Do nothing to the competition
Because it’s not about the competition, it’s about the customer. It’s always about the customer. Focus on them by doing things for them and you will out service and out innovate competitors.
Because they become your unpaid, unprovoked brand champions out in the world. Make a great product, get it out there, get people to fall in love with it, show them love back and continue to take care of them and you will have an army of allies.
Get good at doing good
Choosing to do good is never a bad idea. And most of the time, when you do good, you can make good at the same time. Nothing drives the competition crazier than when well-intentioned do-gooders win!