If you are tempted to copy what everyone else is doing because they are successful,forget it. In the industrial age fortunes were made by churning out identical products as cheaply as possible using repeatable processes, hence Ford and the first assembly line.
If you are producing products with mass manufacture you need to produce as cheaply as possible. This work has migrated East to places such as China and India where costs of labour are lower and there are lower regulations ( not to mention use of child labour, and I’m not even going to get started on that).
We have moved into the information age. Yes there are still mass produced goods but we have shifted to demand for individual markets and niches and items and services that are different.
Of course the challenge is to still have a business that is “scalable” that can be repeated. For products that is easier to do as the example of Innocent smoothies shows. If you have never seen them the packaging is stuffed full of personality and silly jokes that appeal to children and adults alike. Any company that can get my teenage daughter to drink something that is good for her is a success as far as I am concerned!
Although even she said that they needed to change the packaging as it has been the same for many years now, so I hope they have not lost their touch now that the company has been bought out.
Ok what about services? Well the prime example of that is Richard Branson’s Virgin group… it is portrayed as being all about him….and giving people what they want ( I loved it when you could get ice-cream to go with your movie on the long boring transatlantic flights and you could get up and go to a bar… I would have loved a gym on board too!)
So the Question for this week is:
What can you do to bring your personality into your business?
You may say that people won’t like that and you are right some people won’t but there will be people who will relate. Those are the people you need to talk to.
Interestingly, I feel slightly hypocritical saying this this week as I have been struggling to find my own unique voice in my second book that I am writing. However I am working on it! Wish me luck!