More BBQ Time Per Pound
Posted on Jul 29, 2013
Technologists routinely assure me that their latest product innovation is unparalleled, and has no competition. That statement, apart from being wrong on its face - "do nothing" is always a competitive option - reflects the wrong approach, as illustrated by a common summer pastime. "More BBQ time per pound, compared to other charcoal brands," asserts a bag of name-brand charcoal. When I read this, I thought of Ted Leavitt's classic "Marketing Success Through Differentiation-of Anything." Kingsford has settled on a way to differentiate one of the classic fundamental elements - fire - by something that resonates clearly with the customer. And the claim illustrates how innovators should look at competition and differentiation - "I know you have choices, and I'm going to figure out one thing that you care about most, or a lot, and I'm going to stake my difference on that issue." If something as low-tech as charcoal can be strongly differentiated, so can the latest high-tech innovation.