The saddest part about commoditization (despite being a strangely satisfying word to type) is that too many people and businesses get pushed through.
Nobody is doing anything freaky out there. In this case, freaky means ‘worth noticing.’
When someone does do something freaky, we hear about it. We love freaky. We love unexpected surprises, and we celebrate those businesses and people who dare to do something that is worth our attention and compels us to comment on it. When something is different enough to stand out and capture our attention, we share it.
We share it because it is refreshing, interesting and because practically speaking, sharing great news (or nonsense) has never been easier. Should you stumble into a restaurant for lunch and discover the best burger in town, you can take a picture of it and post it to the world while you’re still chewing the first bite.
Is there any part of your customer experience that would make your client feel compelled to take their phone out of their pocket and take a picture? Or capture the experience in some way? Think about that. Twenty years ago, if someone took out their phone in the middle of a meeting, you’d assume they were disinterested. Today, when someone takes their phone out, it’s a compliment. Most often, they are capturing and sharing.
Are you delivering commoditized services, or are you staging an experience that would be worth taking a photo of? Or sharing in any way?
You don’t have to reinvent. Actually, yes, you do. You have to stop delivering services which focus on speed and efficiency and instead embrace this radical idea: Encourage your clients to spend even more time with you, by making it memorable, inherently personal and surprising, aka ‘freaky.’
And what if you don’t?
You’ll compete on price and have less fun until eventually there is no profit left in it. Eventually, someone will offer your clients what they really want, which they will have heard about through their network. It will capture their attention, they’ll look it up and want to be part of it. The worst part? They will pay your replacement more than they pay you.