Our Thinking

Outpacing the Competition

Two people walk into the campground office. The park ranger warns that there are bears – and that it is dangerous. The first camper quickly replies – “that won’t be a problem”. The ranger says, “I hope you can run fast – very fast”.  “Not really,” the camper replied. “But I am faster than the other guy.”

This cute story illustrates the concept of relative expectations. It’s not how fast the person can run, but that the speed is fast, relative to the other person. No where is this concept more important than on the social web.

Consider the last time you interacted with an organization online. It doesn’t matter if the interaction was a direct one via email, whether it was an interaction in social media, or an impression they formed while observing your organization’s interaction with others.  If you disappoint, your brand becomes weaker, and if you exceed their expectations, your brand becomes stronger.

This week’s action plan:  Review your organization’s web touchpoints, and specific stakeholder interactions: what is the one thing that you can do to improve the experience to be more positive – and exceed their expectations?

Marketing insight: Not only is the brand impacted, but after every interaction the expectations are reset – either higher or lower.  While it’s tough to always deliver on always-increasing expectations, that is the nature of developing a sustainable competitive advantage.

Bonus Insight: To be competitive, it isn’t just about exceeding expectations; you also need to run faster than the other guy…