Experience-Based Differentiation: The Venn Diagram

As I was thinking about Experience-Based Differentiation (which I probably do waaaaay too much), the following venn diagram came to mind….


The bottom line: You need to know what customers need/want AND what your company stands for.

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I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

4 thoughts on “Experience-Based Differentiation: The Venn Diagram”

  1. It’s dangerous to ask me if I have any opinions. It’s like opening up an all-you-can-eat sushi bar; I could keep going and going and going. But I’ll try and refrain myself and keep it (relatively) short.

    You’re right, competition needs to play a part in most of your strategies. And it does in the venn diagram above as well. If your brand is the exact same as everyone elses, then it won’t have much impact in the market. So on the right side, your brand needs to be developed with an understanding of the competitive environment (and your company’s inherent strengths).

    On the left side of the venn, customer insight can’t be in a vacuum either. You need to understand what customers think/need/want in the “real world” where competitors are bombarding them with offers and messages. So that insight needs to be reflective of the competition.

    Having said that, I highly urge companies not to overly focus on the competition. The companies that I find being the most successful are aware of their competition, but they obsess about their customers.

    So when it comes down to trade-offs of time/focus/budget, I’d chose to spend my time thinking about customers, not competitors, in most situations.

    Thanks for the comment!

  2. I woud say that “audience” trumps the other two. If you could only do one of those things well (audience insight, brand clarity, and competitive insight), then I’d go with audience insight.

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