Customers form opinions based not only on their experiences with your company and products, but also on their broader experiences and beliefs. Consequently, a gap forms between what you’d like customers to think about you and what they perceive to be true, according to Nigel Barlow, author of Re-think.
During his keynote at the Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2012 in London, Barlow shared three ways to stand out that will help close the perception gap:
Challenge assumptions: Doing so is what leads to innovation and new ideas. Also, don’t put your organization in a box; you don’t have to be a certain way based on the stereotypes in your industry.
Differentiate: How can you differentiate your organization by actually being different? Too many companies try to “differentiate” by simply improving on what their competition already does.
Rethink your positioning: What business are you really in? Harley-Davidson doesn’t sell motorcycles; it offers the ability for riders to become a part of a cool “club”. Virgin Atlantic is entertainment at 30,000 feet, not a mode of transportation. You need to define your “something more.”