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Are you an alpha or non-alpha company or maybe you are a non – alpha with alpha thinking, which are you?
The Alpha Factor: The Secret to Dominating Competitors and Creating Self-Sustaining Success. Alpha companies lead the way, why?
First let me set the stage. Non-alpha with alpha thinking companies, well those are rare leading businesses that have everyone else following their leads and customers aspiring to own their products. Alpha companies focus on what B2B customers want.
Non-alpha thinking companies focus on staying ahead of the competition. Non-alphas worry about the functional performance of their products or services. Alpha companies focus on making their B2B customers feel (emotional benefits) better about themselves and smarter (satisfied cognitive dissonance and alignment of needs and wants with the perceived offering) for buying their products.
Non-alpha thinking companies continually improve product and service. Alpha thinking companies continually address more and higher emotional and ego-satisfaction needs of B2B customers. Well as I have argued a few days ago, I personally agree wants (emotional benefits) often enter into the B2B purchase equation.
B2B marketing communications can and should include messaging and creative that addresses them. Many of the B2C emotional triggers that satisfy personal needs are also relevant influences to varying degrees for B2B buyers-like security, comfort, convenience, and in some instances I think even prestige and status (although probably somehow rationalised).
Perhaps as “non-alphas”, non-leading brands, which most companies and brands are, it’s mandatory to communicate and answer functional needs (core product/service). But when you can also communicate and differentiate your B2B brand by appealing to B2B buyers’ wants (emotional needs), you make a much more compelling sales pitch I will go over the things that contrast alphas with non-alphas again with a bit more thinking as the alpha, non alpha argument is very important to the success of your strategy: Non-alpha thinking: Focus on staying ahead of competition.
Alpha thinking: Focus on what your B2B customers want to buy. Non-alphas worry about what competitors are doing. Alphas typically ignore most competitive activity and understand what customers want to buy. That means they go beyond just understanding what customers are currently buying; they have a process for discovering what customers wish they could buy but are not being offered. The leading companies look at customer wants and needs (tangible + emotional) while closely watching the competition so they don’t sneak up on them. Non-alpha thinking: Continually improve product and service.
Alpha-thinking: Continually address more and higher emotional and ego-satisfaction needs of B2B customers. Non-alphas worry about the functional performance of their products or services. Alphas make sure they offer at least the minimum acceptable functional performance, but focus on making their B2B customers feel better about themselves and smarter for buying their products. That includes helping customers believe that they are making the decision to buy the product because they know more than other buyers and, therefore, should be admired and respected. Non-alpha thinking: Create growth by giving incentives for sales and profit outcomes.
Alpha thinking: Continually make growth easier by giving incentives for improvements in the causes of growth rather than final outcomes. Non-alphas continually battle to sustain growth because they give incentives for the wrong things. They worry about final outcomes—such as sales, profits, market share, brand awareness and margins—so their employees and sales staffs find ways around doing things right that still achieve short-term outcome numbers.
This is not strategic! The result is that it’s always a new battle to generate the next level of growth. Alphas recognise the real core causes of those outcomes—such as perceived satisfaction of needs (especially self-satisfaction and personal significance), communications effectiveness, brand differentiation and loyalty generation—and give incentives for improving those. Alpha companies, once they are in the lead, actually don’t work as hard as non-alphas because they work much smarter. By focusing on what will make a sustainable, continuously improving difference, they actually find it easier and easier to generate success. What’s more, they get their customers and competition driving business to them. Who wouldn’t rather have things get easier than continually get harder?
I ask you again. “What is your business alpha or non-alpha or maybe non-alpha with alpha thinking”?