Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream

Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream - The Scoop on Increasing Profit by Differentiating Your Company Through Strategy and Talent. I just love it when the title explains the book (and I have to admit, it is a catchy title)

This book, written by Steve Van Remortel.

 I have long believed in choosing a niche. To some extent, this is the same as differentiation. Selling the same thing as everyone else means you can only thrive by being more efficient and this tends to be difficult. Selling differentiated product allows for less or no competition.

The irony, is my business (EMJ then later SYNNEX) was largely selling non differentiated product - or at least that is what most people would say. It is tough to say our HP printer was different than someone else's HP printer.

But was it? According to Van Remortel, a commodity product can become differentiated by adding services. And we did just that. Have a better order system, have more inventory, faster delivery, more knowledge etc. The challenge in distribution was always to stay ahead and catch up where needed.

We were among the first distributors to ship products the same day. Soon everyone did that so even that became a commodity. So then it was a game to ship orders received later and later in the day.

Van Remortel presents a process to work through to identify and implement differentiations is business. One things I love that he suggests is to make sure customers value the differentiation. EG - why sell pork flavored ice cream if customers do not want it(my example - not his). Differentiation for differentiations sake does not help.

His process includes talent management and using talent to help select the differentiations. Good book that would help a team develop their unique differentiations.

And since I have posted many times on brain things (like "The Winners Brain", "Strategic Intuition", "Save your brain" etc.), I thought I would include the following infographic. I liked the link between raising IQ and exercise. Thinking I need to work out more. And wondering if ice cream might not be bad for IQ. +++++++++   Master Your Brain: Raise Your IQ


At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Dick Bryer said...

Jim- you say" (EMJ then later SYNNEX) was largely selling non differentiated product". While that is , on the surface, true- EMJ for sure did offer differentiation. As a vendor(SCO) who came to EMJ looking for a better alternative, you definitely offered it. The major differentiation was excellent product management. I never felt that my product did not have full attention and understanding from your customer facing people. Behind that, it was always EMJ that I could turn to for fast shipment, unique product handing- for instance serial number activation key licenses. These are the non showy things that, added up, make it all work. I believe the things that created this environment were hiring good people, motivating them, and enabling them to make decisions and solve problems without being bound by a bunch of rules and regulations.


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