…Or you can be different from the rest.

Being better, means doing what your competitors do but faster, more efficiently, more reliably, or at a higher level of quality. If you’re clearly better, and customers understand that, then you’re likely to gain share and growth over time. Tesco, for example, has driven much of its success by being that little bit better than its rivals on each aspect of grocery retailing.

Being different, however, means providing new sources of value. Not only will you gain market share; you’ll also grow your market by attracting customers who weren’t previously interested in the sector. Harley Davidson, for example, has grown the motorcycle market by being different to the other manufacturers and brands, and attracting a far wider group of customers and fans.

Of course, the best place to be is both different and better. That is the position that world class companies such as Google, Singapore Airlines and Pixar have reached.

Where are you? Is your business better than or different from the rest?

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.