The New Age Of Differentiation – Part 3: Collaboration
As we build on the strategies of The Experience and Trust, we naturally move into the space of collaboration – working with your network – be it with your customers, suppliers, competitors – rather than merely being an arms-length provider of goods and services.
This could take the form of training your customers to embed your products into their regular working habits, or joining forces with a supplier or a competitor (shock-horror!) to pitch together for a mutual project. Both examples create something that’s both new, and otherwise inaccessible unilaterally.
Collaboration is innovative and forward-thinking, it’s unexpected and unsettling for your competitors. You’re not only extending your own reach and reputation with new contacts and new capabilities, you’re also adding more value to your relationships. It can make you distinctive, even unique, and is tough as hell for others to replicate.
And the old-school approach, by comparison, starts to smack of protectionism and self-interest – these qualities are neither attractive nor sustainable.
So go seek out new alliances, co-operate with the other members of your network, build communities and movements, and see what you can create!
…Which leads us neatly to our next New Age Of Differentiation strategy coming soon: Leadership.