During this period where Fordings 2.0 is taking shape and the strategy is almost in place, I am receiving Emails daily over my business platforms whether I want to invest in business and life style coaches.
I was attracted to watching this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBZ8CuXtR2E
For those watching, the video is in German. Peter Brandl is a pilot, entrepreneur and business coach. I normally switch off such videos after 3 minutes because you can normally bet your bottom dollar that you are going to hear what you already know.
But wait a moment, this guy is talking our language – “USPs are dead” well surely they must be, after all if we propagate that marketing is dead, then surely so too must USPs be.
Mr Brandl goes on to dazzle the viewers with his model BRAIN
- No Excuses
He goes on to argue that expertise is dead as is leadership. Wow I thought, whilst watching the speech, now a good 8 minutes into the 19-minute dialogue, this is really interesting. It was fascinating as he uses a great visual to help guide his story, respectively a KLM machine about to land in Munich when a small plane rolls unexpectedly in front of them onto the runway.
He uses the term aircraft as a craft that has been built to be in the air and stay in the air, that is why it is designed, so the pilots wishing to land the plane at this moment have to make a decision. They cannot change the proceedings folding out in front of them, they have to calculate the risks and make a decision either to land anyway or break the landing and land 20 minutes later. Perhaps they were already planning their evening, what they were going to eat in the restaurant, were thinking about how they desperately need to go to the toilet, but in this moment they are expected to make a quick decision. He went on to praise the German for entrepreneur – “Unternehmer” – directly translated back into English “Someone who undertakes something.” not to be confused with an undertaker that buries dead bodies.
At the end of the 19 minutes I realised that I had not learned anything new, but I realised that he had achieved what the man in the blue T-Shirt had achieved. He had managed to grab my attention by applying his USP, namely “I am going to tell you something which 90% of other business coaches will not tell you, the USP is dead”
Many of you will perhaps be reading this and wondering what the argument is in this short blog. The argument is simple, as with the death of classical and digital marketing, USPs are as much dead as Marketing. The customer doesn’t react to brand bombardment or features. The customer responds to experiences or emotions. The experiences can be created through different forms of media along the enterprise customer interfaces ECIs, but the USPs have shifted from features and functions to conversation.
Mr Brandls USP is telling you that that the USP is redundant and effectively telling you that to be successful on the market you need to be constantly aware, active, flexible, ready for change etc.
However, if we think deeply about what he is saying this is nothing new whatsoever. R&D are driven today through trend and risk analysis. Products and services were always replaceable, today we have more choice, hence we have to be quicker than before.
Where I will agree with Mr Brandl is: I can destroy my competition in that I make their USPs redundant, by taking away the need for their product. But let us be honest with each other, at the end of the day I can only replace USPs with USPs, only the branding and positioning thereof are no longer feature and function relevant – more to find the discussion or offering some kind of experience.
In the case of Mr Brandl, he created the attention by eliminating the major point of so many business coaches to always be aware of your uniqueness and stay unique, only in other words to tell his audience that they need to be unique and in his own words regurgitate that what other business coaches offer, only in a very clever and unique way. A big praise to Mr Brandl for proving the point that the shift is from the product to the individual. A good entrepreneur will always be the greater fool.