Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails by Scott McKain is exactly the book that anyone involved in running a business should be reading right now. McKain, who is Vice Chairman of Obsidian Enterprises, recently named one of the “fastest growing public companies” in the country, cuts a clear path through all the marketing claptrap to arrive at what is really the problem with most of today’s businesses – a lack of distinction.
Why would you have any loyalty to a store, restaurant or other business when their only point of differentiation is pricing. As soon as the price changes, the customer moves on. And the price will always change because there is always someone willing to sell a little cheaper, cut a few more corners, or take a bit less profit. Where loyalty and longevity are established is through our points of differentiation.
Not only does Scott McKain make it clear, through repeated interesting and insightful examples, that we currently have this problem, he suggests way in which we can combat the problem. His four “Cornerstones of Distinction” provide methodologies that someone in any business, or even personal endeavor, can use to separate themselves from the pack, create interest from the customer, and then concentrate on that customer experience to build loyalty. This works in service industries, sales, consulting, and even civic organizations.
Something else that is as almost as exciting the book itself is the distribution method. With this book, Thomas Nelson Publishing launches what they are call “NelsonFree”. What this means is that when you purchase the physical book, you also get access to it in electronic and audio format. So, you could read the paper version by your bedside, keep the electronic version on your iPhone or Kindle for reading on the train, and then have the audiobook format available for listening to while driving. The additional formats are just a simple and free download from the web. This is revolutionary and could, if it becomes widespread, dramatically increase the spread of alternative forms of reading.
So, all together, Collapse of Distinction is an very worthwhile book that can help you see your business through not only during these tough economic times, but through the “normal” times as well. In addition, with one person you get to pick whatever format makes you happy – or choose them all. A great deal by any standard.
Note: The publisher gave me a copy of this book for the purpose of. There were no strings attached, and that gratis review copy in no way swayed my opinions towards this work.