Business Strategy

Not all hot dogs are the same.

I love a good hot dog. Since I was a little boy, I can remember my parents taking me to the ball game and having a delicious hot dog.

I also remember some family barbecues where we had those fancy big thick kosher hot dogs. It took a while, but I eventually developed a taste for the fancier hot dogs.

Well, recently I took a liking to a Chicago-style hot dog. These dogs are different. It’s not a true Chicago hot dog unless it includes very specific ingredients. You start with a Vienna all-beef hot dog that is boiled, not grilled and placed into a soft poppy seed hot dog bun. Then you add the ingredients, in this specific order. Yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers and celery salt. The pickle spear is laid on top of all of this. And, forget about ketchup! That is considered Chicago-style hot dog blasphemy.

So, why am I sharing all of this information about Chicago-style hot dogs? Because this dog is a metaphor for a competitive business success strategy, which is uniqueness.

You can buy a hot dog in many places around the world, but not all of them serve up the Chicago-style hot dog. The street vendor in New York isn’t serving a Chicago-style dog. Sure, there are places in cities outside of Chicago that will serve the authentic Chicago style dog. And, if that particular dog is what you really want, and you don’t live in Chicago where this style of hot dog is the norm, you may drive a little further and spend a little more money to get it. That’s what uniqueness does.

So if a hot dog is a metaphor for business, what makes your dog different? This is your competitive differentiator. For example, there are lots of car dealers that sell the same make and model of the car you own. What one thing, perhaps unique compared to the other dealerships, did your dealership do to make you buy the car from them? It can be price, location, customer service, speed and any other feature or benefit that separates them from the other dealerships.

The big uniqueness question is, “Why should a customer buy from you over your competition?” It is tied to what you do that is different. Give me one reason – or several. Is it quality, speed, price, customer service or any other feature that makes you unique in your marketplace? The answer is what gives you a competitive advantage worth exploiting.

 

This article originally appeared in Shep Hyken.

 

This article was written by Shep Hyken from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.