Feb 13, 2017 by Edward L. Blach, DVM, MS, MBA
Differentiation is crucial to your practice being seen as distinctively different, unique, and valuable to your customers. Without differentiation, your practices becomes just one of many service providers in a crowded marketplace. Being 'just one of many' isn't an attractive position if you want to attract and retain good customers.
Differentiation occurs through sound marketing. Establishing your marketing plan will address the need to differentiate. An excellent book that will help you is called Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim. 'Blue ocean' in the book is seen as fresh uncontested waters, in contrast to bloody, shark-infested waters filled with many competitors who are very similar and eventually compete on price; and thus, the bloody waters. Pay particular attention to the tool called a Strategy Canvas, explained on page 25. Use the Strategy Canvas to map your market and the competitors in it. Identify those criteria that everyone competes on and others of high importance to your customers that aren't competed on that you can use to develop a strategy to compete on high value, but different criteria. Review the many examples in the book that will show you how other companies such as Southwest Airlines identified unique competitive opportunities that came from a decision to differentiate.
Identify 'blue ocean' in your market, and build value from differentiating your practice.