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'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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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