Collapse Of Distinction

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.

collapse_of_distinctionWhy 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.

Healing The Big Three

The big three automakers are in trouble and it is there own fault.Wrecked Automakers Interestingly I have talked to friends both liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican. We all agree that the government should not bail out GM, Chrysler or Ford because they got in the bind they are in by their own self-centered mismanagement. They all thought they could do whatever they liked and that the customers would follow them. Sorry, your customers aren’t sheep and to think they are is just conceited stupidity.

There used to be an old saying that “what is good for GM is good for the country.” That tells you exactly where the problem lies. As anyone who is in tune with the marketplace can tell you, it should have been “what is good for the country is good for GM.” Basically, if you concentrate on your customer your business will succeed.

If you do what is right for your customers you will succeed on two fronts. First, even in the unlikely event that you do fail financially, you will have done some good for the world. And secondly, if you are doing right by your customers they will support you and stand behind you. They will want you to succeed. And that alone is more than half the battle.

Truthfully, I am not sure if it is too late for the big auto makers. I am sure it is already too late for their executives though. The guys at the top are too selfish to do what is right by their customers, their companies, or their countries. They have proven that by their attitudes and action. The best thing they could do is step down, and if they won’t step down they should be removed.

The only way the big three can be fixed is if they, and the labor unions who work for them, quit focusing on themselves and turn their attention to giving the customers what is wanted. How in the world does flying a corporate jet aid the customer? It doesn’t. How does haggling at the dealership until utter frustration sets in help the customer? It doesn’t. How does making too large gas guzzling old technology help the customer? It doesn’t. See how simple the test is? Just cut out all the junk that isn’t good for the customer out. Focus on your customer and you can’t lose.