5 Questions to Uncover Your “Boutique” Brand Advantage: The Keys to a Business You Love

Your Ultimate Competitive Advantage
  1. TJ Anderson says:

    Great Stuff Melissa! An excellent reminder to look in the mirror and challenge our results for veteran entrepreneurs AND how to start for newbies.

    A recent client experience of mine really hit on humanizing who we are and the results that can come when we really connect with our market.

    Keep it comming!

  2. Melissa Galt says:

    TJ,
    Love to hear the details of your recent experience, glad to be a value reminder.

    Hugs, Melissa

  3. Paul Johnson says:

    A big part of being naked is not being afraid of who we are NOT.

    I get frustrated by these corporate “codes of behavior” that take every nice sounding word (integrity, respect, customer-focus, etc.) and rope them together. For instance, Hope Depot claims these: Excellent Customer Service, Giving Back, Creating Shareholder Value, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Taking Care of Our People, Respect for All People, Doing the Right Think, Building Strong Relationships. They like to display them on a wheel.

    But what’s on the other side of the wheel? Do we get to see what they’re not? One Home Depot employee told me, “I would never want to be a vendor to Home Depot, because we work them to death.” To me, that truth seems to out of sync with Respect for All People, Doing the Right Think, and Building Strong Relationships.

    For me, I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like to do things over. You can count on me to do good work, to get results. That means speed is never top priority for me… and that’s just the way I am. In some situations, I am the perfect answer. And sometimes I am not. And that’s OK, as long as we can both know the difference.

    • Melissa Galt says:

      Yes Paul,

      I agree and no one person or corporation (aka a collection of people with a specific mission and goal) can be all things to everyone.

      Interestingly, I have heard the same about Home Depot (liked your Freudian slip “Hope” Depot). And they aren’t that great to work for as an employee from what I hear either, though it has improved with Nardelli gone.

      It is great that you know your strengths, will admit your weaknesses, and get results! If only corporate America acted as the entrepreneurs they all started out as.

      Hugs, Melissa

    • I totally agree with you Paul. I used to work for an insurance company whose motto was integrity, trust, etc., etc. But one time I came across a customer who’d been mis-sold a policy and so wasn’t covered. My team leader told me I had to upsell him to a higher policy. The customer, quite understandably, wasn’t happy. I wasn’t either as I felt we were just ripping the guy off. So I refused to do the sale. I got seriously reprimanded and the department manager gave me a pep talk about how sometimes we have to leave our principles at the front door when we come into the office. At that point I politely told him what he could do with his job and walked out. I refused to rip customers off and believe in giving true value, not just paying lip service to some cliched line that contains the phrase, “Best Value” only to then act contrary to that.

  4. A great article & I wholeheartedly agree with this. If we are to really and truly know, like and trust those we do business with then it’s a must that we be genuine. Ditching the cliches and being natural.

    • Melissa Galt says:

      Jae-Alexander,
      Great to get your story and comments. You may enjoy more posts along this style over at listly.com and look up EQList curated by a friend of mind CASUDI.

      Knowing what questions to ask is one of the fastest paths to getting where you want to go. The quality of your business success is predicated on the quality of your questions. These are just a few of what I believe needs to be asked to be yourself in business.

      Hugs, Melissa

  5. I enjoyed this article so much, that instead of Buzzing it, I thought I would share it manually, so that I can add my own personal recommendation.

  6. Lynne says:

    Truly a great article. I agree that by showing your customers who the real you is and what your business is all about is your real competitive advantage.

  7. Margaux Dela Cruz says:

    Tough questions that can be answered by honest self-examination. I particularly like how you mentioned it: “uncover your why.” If companies can clearly visualize what services they really provide, how they reach out to target markets, & how they can understand their market to cater to each segment, then they can definitely achieve their competitive advantage in half the time. Thanks for this great post!

    • Melissa Galt says:

      Thanks Margaux,

      Yes, self examination is one of those activities most don’t want to invest in, it is “scary.” Glad you are in agreement.

      Hugs,
      Melissa

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