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Are You a Poser?

My son left for college last month and just before he left he received a text from a fraternity brother excited to see him.  “I hate that guy”, my son declared, “What a poser!”  A ‘poser’, for those of you without teenagers, is someone who pretends to be someone they are not.  No one respects a poser, not even his own fraternity brother.

It turns out, not surprisingly, that companies shouldn’t be posers either – especially if they care about long-term growth.

In fact, a company’s ‘street credibility’ is an important part of how that company supports its core value proposition and differentiates itself as it implements its strategy to grow its revenue.  In fact, in certain situations, and in certain industries, street credibility can be the key differentiator that positions a company to dominate its commodity product competitors.

One of my clients, a manufacturer of industrial products, faced a vexing problem that stalled its growth to a stop.  Commodity products were flooding the market at a cheaper price.  And to compound the problem, their product was one where it was difficult to gauge its effectiveness as it performed a function on the microbial level that was not easy to measure.

After researching the market and the company’s position in the market, we realized that the company’s customers valued the CEO’s stature as a respected microbiologist far more than we originally thought.  In fact, with product effectiveness difficult to measure, the confidence customers gained by knowing that the company’s products were “backed by science” gave them the peace of mind they needed to purchase initially and repeatedly.

As a result, we repositioned the company and its products as “backed by science” thus reasserting its value proposition in a way that paved the path back to revenue growth.

How does your company assert its street credibility?  How can that street credibility be used more effectively to bring more revenue into the door?

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