What's Wrong with Being Absolutely the Best?

Every organization wants to establish a competitive advantage in the markets they serve. And they all look to creating a claim that establishes themselves in the dominant position.

These types of declarations pervade the communications space.

“We offer the best network”“Our services provide the best value for money in the business”“Our customer service is better than our competition”“We have the best people in our industry”“Our sales support is best in class”These types of claims don’t cut it in today’s world of intelligent discerning customers and intense competition.

A hope and a prayer

They are aspirational statements that don’t provide any meaningful guidance to people in the organization in terms of what they should do and how they should behave to live the strategy.

Lack of meaning

They don’t give customers any meaningful information that helps them understand the competitive claim. For example the largest Telecom Company in Canada claims to have the ‘best network’ among their competitors. Is this useful information to a customer? Does it explain the characteristic of their network that makes it the best?

No proof

They are difficult if not impossible to prove particularly in terms that address customer needs. In my experience, claims of this nature attract internal organizational statistics to ‘prove’ the claim and not specific attributes that are compelling to customers. They talk to the internal audience rather than the external one.A competitive claim based on how different your organization is, on the other hand, forces you to define in precise terms how you are unique among your competitors. Through the use of The ONLY Statement, a detailed assessment of the competition is done and is correlated with the critical desires of the customer groups you have chosen to serve. And it leverages the competencies and skills of the organization.Here’s an example:“We are the ONLY team that provides integrated safety solutions that go beyond the needs of our customers ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. We are committed to grow our customer’s business. We ONLY serve safety.”The ONLY Statement informs the organization what specifically it intends to do that is unique in the marketplace and it declares to the customer what specific value and benefits will be delivered to them — it provides a framework for measuring and proving the competitive claim.Winning is not about comparative and superlative claims in any event. They are not needed. You don’t have to be better than another company or best among your competitors to succeed and survive. You need to be different in some meaningful way.Provide relevant, compelling and UNIQUE value to those you have chosen to serve and the spoils of the battle will flow your way.Related: This Is What a Winning Small Business Strategy Is