Outdo your competition by reversing the polarity

Some products and services can be hard to differentiate. Industries can become a bit samey.

If you’re in this situation, this technique might open the way for you to find something innovative and, dare I say it, different!

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A rough transcript

Some products and services can be hard to differentiate. 

Ever feel like everyone in your industry is doing much the same thing, and there’s not much you can do about it?

I have a technique for you that might come in handy. Let’s look at that today.

G’day, I’m Jason Foss. Today we-

Wait, what was that My Spock?

I may not be Mr Sulu but I am ready to reverse the polarity. 

What am I talking about?

Every industry comes with a list of assumptions. Something will take x long to finish. It will cost y dollars. I’ll have to do z first. 

Biscuits come in long packs that are messy and hard to open.

Why are the normal assumptions related to your industry – your product and service – true? Do they have to be?

So, step 1: List them out.

From a customer’s point of view, what are all their assumptions and expectations – good and bad. List them out in a column without judgement.

Step 2: Reverse the polarity!

In your second column, just run down the list and write the reverse. The opposite. Something does not take x long to finish. It won’t cost y dollars. You won’t have to do x first.

Biscuits don’t come in long packs that are messy and hard to open. 

Step 3: What can you do something with?

Now, run down your second column. Some things there might be impossible, but probably not everything. What can you do something about? Is there something in that list that you can use as an idea to start thinking about a better way to serve your customers?

You’re probably wondering why I keep holding up these Oreos.

We were on a drive the other day and found this in a servo while I was waiting for coffee.

Fits in your cup holder. Much easier and more convenient than trying to juggle an open pack like this in the car.

What if biscuits didn’t come in long packs like this?

You open the door for something like this.

I’m sure that if you list all the assumptions related to what you do, and then stand on your head, flip them around, reverse the polarity, you’ll find something that really separates you from the sameness that everyone else in your industry of offering.

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