Finding your meaningful point of difference


Image credit: Gili Benita, Unsplash

For most companies, competition is widespread. Within one city there are many accountants, financial planners, lawyers, HR consultants, etc. And basically all accountants do the same thing. Of course there are variations in target markets, services provided, delivery methods and skill set – but generally speaking, you provide the same benefits to the client.

In a competitive market, how does one accounting firm stand out from all the other accounting firms?

Some businesses will have a more sophisticated brand than others – e.g. a modern website with fantastic images showing the real team, and a strong social media presence to boot. But strong brands come back to solid foundations of reputation, track record, experience… and most of all, people.

Whenever I work on elevating or repositioning a brand, no matter the industry, I always try to find a meaningful point of difference in its people. It may be a visionary, progressive executive team, or a fun and supportive culture, or the expert level of the individuals that work there. It may be a strong set of company values that are lived out daily and really mean something to customers. Or a higher than normal care factor about the wellbeing and success of the clients they serve.

When it comes to finding your meaningful point of difference amongst your competition, it will always be about the people in your team. Because the exact combination of personality, skills, experience, approach and values that you bring to your work cannot be replicated by anyone else.

To uncover the key strengths of your people and find your company’s meaningful point of difference, ask questions like:

  • What’s important in the way you approach your work?
  • How does your background experience inform your work now?
  • What do your customers/clients value about your work with them (what do they say?)
  • What’s great about the way we work as a team?

I once read that the way you do anything is the way you do everything. What are the excellent ways you do things as a team of individuals, that you can highlight in your brand… and by extension, what might need improving?

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