Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Satisfaction Curse. And “HOW” to avoid it.

From Tiger, to Jordan, to Jack Welch... superstars have one thing in common:
They are never satisfied with their current set of skills or level of ability.

Not ever.

Not even when they rise to the very top of their field.

They avoid the “satisfaction curse” like the plague.

They keep pushing. They keep asking: How can I improve? How can I become more consistent? How can I beat the competition? This is why Tiger Woods still works with a coach every week to help him improve his swing. And that’s exactly “How” this man has come to outperform his competition so consistently for so long.

If you too want to be a leader in your field, take a long hard look at your brand - whether it’s a company, product, or service - and ask yourself: How badly do you want it? How committed are you to becoming the top brand in your category, marketplace or industry?

I’m in my 14th year working with CEOs of small and mid-sized brands, and I can honestly tell you that the biggest brand killer is complacency. The moment you start feeling overly confident about the success of your product, service or company is the very moment you begin to fail as a brand. Satisfaction, in any form, spells bad news for your business. You must commit yourself to always asking the important “How” questions:
- How can we deliver a solution 10 times better than the competition?
- How can we double our sales in the next three years?
- How can we engage a higher level clientele?
- How committed are you?

The “Power of How” also applies to current economic conditions. Asking “How” helps you avoid the pit trap of blaming the economy, licking your wounds, or giving in to self-doubt. How can we make money when our industry sector is losing money? How can we cut our sales cycle in half? How can we create decisive and immediate buzz? As your “How” questions become more specific, your answers will become equally more specific, decisive and actionable. You’ll begin to see a way forward to a brighter future for your brand, as you head toward a position of leadership.

To help guide your thinking, we’ve prepared a “HOW” worksheet. Bring your team together around these ten challenges to complacency, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving great things for your brand in the months and years ahead.


leigh said...

This is an excellent post. So true! As a newer company, I often feel like I'm trying to get to a finish line with our brand - when we do that production run, when we update our materials, etc., THEN we will be there. Our brand will be 'complete.' Um, no. Then comes the true challenge: how to constantly redefine it, clarify it, go above and beyond it, etc.
Thanks for the reminder!

kiril said...

Wow, i simply love how a bunch of scavengers and recyclers of existing business knowledge, stroke themselves like it's art, and as if they are getting better at what they do..

You're not, i've seen your portfolios. The only thing that gets better in your field is the abundance of clientele that wants the same regurgitated model from you because it works. Nobody gives a damn about your personal creative evolution in reinventing a goddamn wheel over and over. Given your field, avoiding the satisfaction curse is the stupidest thing to do, because you'll see how fast the clientele will stop being satisfied with you if you don't present your shit as already the best out there. So the only thing you should constantly improve upon is "HOW" you're going to convince the client to be satisfied with the same turd he can get anywhere else, or even make himself following a few simple free tutorials.