“Risk never sleeps unless you think and act differently.” peter weedfald
With intense sobriety I say: “thinking differently” means very little unless you can actually act upon differentiation in a meaningful way. Thinking differently portends, augers and demands an overwhelming need to think and act creatively. If you personally and or your team together think differently, can act and deliver creatively then your business vision and life ahead is very good. Then your creative differentiation allows your brand, your products, your creativity in cosmetics, design, echo-system and ambient touch points to exercise competitively in your market. In essence, when you think and act with creative differentiation you unleash capacity for your factories, you make and take your market fiercely, effectively, quickly: profitably. In essence, time to volume, time to profitable P&L efficiencies outstrips SG&A and production costs of engagement.
We can all think of the mammoth brand/product winners who created a tsunami of competitive disruption with magnetic push and pull in perfect sync. Of course Apple comes first to mind, first to realization of their highly differentiated and creative product and content platforms. Apple squashed complexity, created an end to end personalization digital farm, architected beautiful, delicious product cosmetics, design and packaging… changed the way we live, work and play. Apple simply yet powerfully, effectively offered us the dignity of instant knowledge, the pleasure of personal socialization: the content tools for simpler perfection, a change in our lifestyles which goes on today. They offered consumers emotional capital which is very tough to compete with.
And as Warren Buffet said so smartly, so eloquently in October of 2008: “First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich.”
In essence, the “idiots” he suggests, who have dampened and softened product and content disciplines to try and make room for themselves in a highly competitive market place in many cases wind up selling niggling, purse proud products compared to the market leader. Crest fallen pricing which deflates supply chain profitability, sadly leading their hungry opportunity into the pylons of the profit recession business. They play for volume, they hunt for market share: they in many cases inevitably wind up with the largest museum of failed products on the planet. Their dream for product and brand infatuation coupled to volume turns into their nightmare of product complication, brand evaporation.
Such risk in following slowly, unprofitably behind the mature path of market dominance in brand and products is not for the faint of heart, frankly it’s not for anyone with a long vision and profitable strategy. Articulating demand as a firebrand (Apple) is much different, much more incredibly titan-advantaged thru consumer rhythm, halo marketing effectiveness thru product experience; consumer social voices. Late market followers in to many cases realize an unrealistically harder and potentially brand damaging experience against their passion, their unbridled optimism for market success.
The goal for any product, any brand is to defer the cost of time based competition without the benefit of product differentiation. This simply means, trying to compete with brand and product innovators who have invested in and created a mature and desired consumer market place is difficult at best. That attempting to do this with dummy downed products, no differentiation at a lower price point is a roll of the dice: however possible for smaller gains as the imitator as long as the majority of consumer preference, demand and emotional capital for said product and content is reasonably on par. Reasonably valued within a targeted demographic, psychographic or geographic market place.
Brands do not make products. Products make brands. As a brand is a promise, a mettle to be shined each and every day thru product and content disciplines, it is the ambient construct of thinking differently, acting creatively that makes or breaks opportunity. And delivering upon your brand position, brand promise across each and every touch point that makes or takes a market.
Risk never sleeps unless you think and act differently. Thank you Steve Jobs for your assiduous genius, for your ardent passion, for defining and delivering on consumer demand thru team goals… proving just how brands, products and markets should beat: beat the competition. How you and your entire highly disciplined and creative Apple team escaped the predictable to become the heartfelt global brand and product enabler for generations to come.
In honor of Steve… in honor of thinking, creating and acting differently I offer this composition brought to you by Studio W.
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