Differentiation Zone

Welcome to state-of-the-art strategy. Differentiation Zone is designed for purpose-driven organizations navigating the customer zeitgeist. Each of us lives in this customer-driven era, accelerated by the pandemic’s power. Technology fueled the change, and we aren’t going back. 

Karla has created a fresh strategic framework that today’s organizations absolutely need. Differentiation Zone® helps to clearly define the customer and forces us to examine what truly matters – from the vantage point of the customer. Witnessing this framework in action is a magical experience, and nothing comes close to aligning stakeholders quicker. It’s an essential tool that leads to meaningful conversations and positive strategic outcomes. I highly recommend it!

Naveed Usman

CEO, The Usman Group

Check out the shelf life of your traditional strategy process. There’s a chance its beyond its best-by date, and you don’t realize it.

 

Get ready to unleash the power of customer mindset.

Why does your organization matter? Why should it matter to me?

Every time a customer considers your purpose-driven organization, they ask themselves these questions. Their responses determine your organization’s mission and strategic relevance. As you will learn in Differentiated, your Differentiation Zone strategy is designed from a customer mindset.

Customer mindset brings an equity perspective

Customer mindset shines a powerful spotlight on your customers, including those you haven’t served well or at all. For instance, people of color and marginalized communities claim their rightful place in your mission and your strategy. Their expectations, aspirations, and unmet needs are in full view as our Portfolio illustrates.

Customer mindset is the holistic understanding of your customer. When you embrace your customer’s mindset, you appreciate the intrinsic link between the rational and the emotional. You care about what your customer cares about.

Your Four-Step Process Awaits

 

Creative thinking is embedded throughout Differentiation Zone. Your process prompts critical conversations about competitive advantage and examines the environmental factors that affect your customers’ actions.

Step One: Understand Your Customers, Competitors, and Context.

Your journey begins with a disciplined study of your customers, competitors, and context. You gather research and take stock of your organization. Techniques to help you harmonize key data with trends, such as shifts in the economy, society at large, public policy, technology, and consumer behavior come next.

Step Two: Reveal Customer and Competitor Insights.

Your journey begins with a disciplined study of your customers, competitors, and context. You gather research and take stock of your organization. Techniques to help you harmonize key data with trends, such as shifts in the economy, society at large, public policy, technology, and consumer behavior come next.

Say goodbye to direct, indirect, and substitute competitors. Open your mind to the world of replacements, alternatives, catapults, and community builders. They jump over industry boundaries in search of market share and profit margin.”

Step Three: Discover Differentiation to Drive Strategic Success.

Now you experience the signature step of the process. You “call the question” through a series of conversations to identify the essential elements that belong in your Differentiation Zone. You also shift what customers find unimportant to the Zone of Indifference. You conclude this step with a clear and powerful description of your organization’s differentiators.

Step Four: Design Your Differentiation Zone Strategy.

You’ve arrived. This is the design phase armed with everything you need to know about your customers, competitors, and context. Now you create your chosen strategy using the differentiators declared in the prior step. A facilitated process leads you to build a plan. You make your strategy a reality and, if desired, optimize your business model.

Bring customer mindset to your marketing and brand strategy.

Not only can you use Differentiation Zone to facilitate a strategy process for your purpose-driven organization, you can solidify differentiation of your brand, fundraising, alumni program, and other supporting strategies. You can use the first three steps of the process to analyze current strategic positioning, or you can engage in the entire Four-Step Process to craft a differentiation strategy and plan for your organization. 

The tired ways aren’t going to take us into the future we must create.

Rebecca Chopp

Chancellor Emerita, University of Denver

Originality in view.

A differentiation strategy driven by customer mindset elevates your customer to the organization level and positions you to craft a strategy with a powerful through line to mission-relevant success measures.

Join me!

Differentiation Zone

Where creativity meets strategy®