Different thinking by Förster und Kreuz
Some time ago I´ve read the book “Different Thinking” by Förster und Kreuz. Unfortunately the book isn´t available in englisch – it shares a lot of great thoughts. Anja Förster and Peter Kreuz are marketing pros and inspiring authors.
They point out several “rules” for nonconventional marketing and business models.
I just want to share some of their highlights and summarize a few short chapters.
Thinking different in business means competing with others for imagination, inspiration, creativity and initiative – and win. Every time, everywhere and with all consequences. Thinking different in business isn´t related to products – it´s a mindset.
The clue is to be always looking for new ideas, unconventional strategies and ways to win a market.
Förster and Kreuz´ concept consists of four pillars:
- Question your own strategy
- Create and build new markets
- Redesign your products completely
- Find new prices and new business models
Some of their most interesting chapters (…at least in my opinion):
360°: Be inspired by other branches
Don´t focus on your direct competition. It´s important to have an eye on your competition, but it is essential to get inspired by other branches. Seek for new ideas or business models in branches which has nothing to do with your´s. Some concepts and structures can be transformed to so many other uses even though it can seem so off-wall.
People break traditions!
30 years ago people made their decision about which bank they would choose based on tradition. My family worked with XY Bank, so do I. Today people are way more open to direct banks and so on. So banks do need new strategies, they do need exotic marketing and new ways to get and hold their customers. This trend can be seen in so many branches – today way way more than 6 years ago where people actually just started to be more open to “break their traditions”.
Don´t be an “in-between”
Focus on premium or focus on low-cost. Luxury as well as low-budget booms – the rest spends more money in competition than making it.
Trim down the pounds!
Focus on YOUR key activities. Focus on tasks which only you can do on a first-class scale. Don´t get stuck in exhausting adminstration. Deligate tasks to suppliers, partners and even customers (they give great examples for this one in the book!).
It´s important to know the tasks and to be able to control it but don´t let those tasks waste your important time for key activities.
The power of combining innovations
A concept to stand out against our competition is to do exotic combinations. Every industry has it´s own rules – rules for the business models and for sales and distribution.
Coffe & Counsel combined a law office and a coffeeshop. Cleanicum combined a self-service laundry and a place where you can hang out, surf the internet or enjoy an espresso. Babette´s combined a bookstore with a focus on cooking books and a small restaurant with cooking classes.
Make it easy!
Reduce complexity. Complexity becomes manifest in four areas:
- Service offer: Just reduce your offers
- Pricing models: No pricing jungle! Keep your price transparent and easy.
- Interaction: Ensure a simple usability of your products
- Communication: Ensure a transparent and clear communication to partners, customers, employees and so on.
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein
These are just a few of the shared thought of “Different Thinking“. Even though the book isn´t the newest, I can still recommend it.