This post is part three of a 4-part series on The E.P.I.C. Method, a step-by-step process on how to catapult your own competitive advantage by building a strong, differentiated leadership brand. Missed the initial posts? Catch up by reading part one and part two.
In Step 2 of The E.P.I.C. Method, Position Possibilities, you now understand the importance of presenting a short list of win-win options to your niche target audience, options that would thrill you both- no mater what option was ultimately selected.
For each of those options, you have created and communicated a powerful Differentiation Positioning Statement (DPS). A DPS identifies the niche market/audience, the statement of need, the option/solution it provides, and how the option/solution is differentiated from competing alternatives.
And if you have completed this effectively, there is a high probability that your target audience is extremely eager to select one of the proposed options.
This is wonderful news, but now comes the true test.
Step 3 of the E.P.I.C. Method, Implement Disruption, is focused on executing the selection option with a “wow” factor that goes viral. In order to achieve true differentiation, you must execute the selected option in a manner which answers the question: “To what degree did you EXCEED expectations?”
Notice I said EXCEED – not just fulfilling basic expectations.
In the world of differentiated leadership, there is no such concept as “meets expectations”. Your audience yearns to be remarkably impressed. And the only way they will share with others anything about you is if you can prove that what you offer is something rarely found elsewhere.
Think about it. When was the last time you recommended an average restaurant? An average dentist? An average candidate for a job?
A critical factor for implementing positive disruption is to be sure that you share the story behind the disruption. Help your audience understand why what you offer is truly the best option available and why they should care about supporting you 100%. Help them to make your story a part of their daily lives. Not doing so may end up causing more harm than good.
There is a scientific basis for this dynamic. Neuroscience researchers (science of the brain) agree that only a limited amount of data can is easily retrievable in our short term memory. And based on the limitations of numerous cognitive and social barriers, such as Dunbar’s Number, the mind can only hold so much data and chooses which nuggets of information to keep top of mind in different categories. This is why you have a favorite toothpaste, airline, cuisine, or sport. It doesn’t mean that you don’t like a diversity of options in the same category. It just means that your “go-to” option of choice is based on your personal preference on what YOU feel is #1.
There are tons of examples where an individual or company executed their niche expertise with such a “wow” factor that their success has helped them to be renowned as a differentiated leader in their organization or industry. Here are just a few:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has earned the reputation as a differentiated leader of advanced degrees in math and science.
- American Giant has differentiated themselves as the leading maker of the most comfortable hoodie, so much that their raving fans have spread the word so fast that it caused production problems.
- Apple executed with such a wow factor in 2001, with the release of the Ipod and subsequent products, that they have maintained their status as a differentiated leader in the consumer technology industry.
- Doctors Without Borders executes with such a wow factor, that they have built a differentiated global brand for delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care.
- Ben & Jerry’s iconic Vermont-based ice cream parlor chain, is known for its creative, cleverly named flavors. This tasty treat’s reputation is known for it’s rabid fans, and has recently secured a special flavor for popular Tonight Show Host, Jimmy Fallon.
- And how can we not forget talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who spent over 25 years executing with such a “wow” factor that she now has her own influence power named after her, called the “Oprah Effect“.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. And I bet you can identify similar differentiated leaders in your local communities, businesses and organizations as well.
Not quite sure how to Implement Disruption with a “wow” factor that goes viral?
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t disrupt without it being a welcomed solution. This is easily accomplished if you have taken the time to Position Possibilities and let your audience choose what they want you to deliver.
- Give your target audience a repeated reason to come back to you. Strategize to build a wow factor in anything you end up executing. Demonstrate your value, knowledge, and niche expertise.
- Create a list of talking points to give to your audience. This will make it easy for them to share the importance of what you are doing to others in their networks. This will also help you to have influence over the type of conversations said about you when you are not in the room. Focus your messaging on what makes your expertise/brand/initiative invaluable.
How are you going to effectively implement disruption to help you reach your goals? How do you motivate your team to build positive, disruptive strategies into their daily jobs?
Not quite sure and want to brainstorm on your situation? If so, schedule an appointment for a free 15 minute “virtual coffee” to chat about options and/or how to engage Shockingly Different to support the professional development in your organization.