Everywhere, products are being commoditized, services are being imitated, and traditional barriers to market entry are collapsing. You can’t survive on “me-too” products, services and business models, and the ever-popular “all things to all people” approach will fail you every time.
To sustain a competitive advantage in today’s “Copycat Economy,” you must break from the pack. Companies that break from the pack take customers far beyond mere satisfaction. These companies tend to go beyond the mission statement to a “higher cause.” They build a pipeline of cool, compelling products and always manage to stay way ahead of their industries.
Welcome to Commodity Hell. Or more accurately, welcome to the Copycat Economy, where everyone has access to the same resources and talent, where the Web is the great equalizer, and where the market’s twin foundations are imitation and commoditization. Two principles keep companies trapped in the pack and snared in the Copycat Economy:
- The inevitablility of perpetual imitation
- The commoditization of everything
To make your organization curious, cool and crazy, employ the EMBER model. As you weigh a course of action or decision, ask yourself:
- (E) Does it make us extraordinary?
- (M) Does it matter to customers?
- (B) Does it break new ground?
- (E) Does it encourage evolvement?
- (R) Is it real?
If the answer is a firm “yes” to each of these questions, then your decision could ignite your business like oxygen to an ember in the fire.