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“Differentiation” — Still Recognized & Pursued By Smart Sr. Management

By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 12/04/2020 Published in American Printer

“All great achievements…require time…”…..Maya Angelou



Too many organizations have little to no sense of who they should be pursuing, or why some prospects are far more valuable than others.

Their Business Development Mission could be summed-up: “Sell More” — which denies the fact that all dollars going through their organization — are not equal.

My long-term bias is that every company still in business — already has… a market-customer-based differentiation.

Some examples:

  1. This morning, I received a note from a client, testifying that he had just hired an “Expert” in “Advertising Promotions”, that he recognized he needed, from reading a recent column in American Printer. He ran his ad on “Indeed”, and was at the number of quality responses. His company focuses on serving Charitable Fundraising organizations and is moving into supporting corporate “Gift-Giving”. Both customer markets need Advertising Promotions. (They’re located just outside the D.C Beltway, probably THE center for Associations and Non-Profits.)

  2. One client has grown about 22% a year — for the last 13 years, with the market reputation, “We can produce whatever your reproduction needs are, or we can get it produced – within your budget—when you need it”. Their profitability is over 10%, year after year (– until Covid-19). They’ve used the last 10 months to open up a totally new division – for labels. Their corporate focus for new business: major corporations, with projects that – must — be correct, and on-time, all — much dependent on a Plant Manager — whose work ethic — did not originate in our great industry.

  3. We have two clients focused on “Kitting, and Storage & Fulfillment”. Both organizations testify that they tend to win customers “Print Work” — and not necessarily based on price — after taking-on Storage & Fulfillment needs. They shared that today’s conditions provide customers and prospects — looking for ways to cut costs — and Storage & Fulfillment provide multiple layers of costs — that was not immediately evident to their prospects — until they talked with the CFO’s of those organizations. Both organizations are growing — looking to lease another 20-25,000 sq. ft. — in the next six months.

  4. A local client acquired a premier but modest company, whose owner was quietly looking for an “exit plan” he could “live with”. Through the acquisition, the parent company enhanced their ability to improve charitable fund-raising, plus their ability to service organizations needing excellent Advertising Promotions. These capabilities led to their developing a Fortune 500 customer, who’s providing them with not only significant additional revenues — but also a new awareness of who they are capable of becoming important to. Revenues up. Profitability up. Identity and Self-Image – Up.

Please note: these Differentiation examples — are grounded — in key personnel, and talent. My observation is that most organizations — who know and pursue (with discipline) their Differentiation — include doing so — through the personnel they hire….!



At a recent CEO Peer Group Session, Members were comparing their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Each Member had a different set of KPI’s.

A question, seemingly important during discussions — was posed:

Which KPI’s do you use to guide your pursuit of future business you want to develop…to improve your company’s performance….?”

Not everyone had an answer…but some did….

Direction… is far more important…than speed”…Dick Gorelick, Consultant, Industry Speaker & Writer.

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