April 2, 2009

Eyes On The Road

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
Henry Ford

While discussing competitive situations, a mentor once said, “When you're driving in a snowstorm, stay in your lane!” His point was that just because a competitor takes a run at you, that is not enough of a reason to flinch. That is safe advice.

But is 'safe' the new 'risk'?

Yesterday I received direct mail pieces from my internet/cable provider and from my land line phone provider. My phone company is now offering satellite cable packages, wireless devices and deals on mini laptops with sign-up. My cable company is now offering wireless devices and home phone line services.

Competition brings out the best in products
and the worst in people.
David Sarnoff

So the cable people are now in the phone business and the phone people are now selling computers. And both are trying to sell me the ultimate all-in-one-bundle.

What Do You Do?

This is a story of two companies driving in a snowstorm. The cable company is taking shots at said phone company and chipping away at their land land business as well as going toe-to-toe with them on wireless and internet. This is a war with brightly produced four-color shiny pamphets and dangling carrots.

Who is the winner?

On the surface, it would appear to be the customer. As one who has dealings with both companies, the honeymoon is brief and the next victim is always the target.

You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right
and the budget is big enough.
Joseph E. Levine

Visibility in this snowstorm is not the issue because everyone seems to want to be in every lane. The question remains whether they can still see customer service in the rear view mirror.

It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality. Harold Geneen

Special offers, one-time deals, gifts with purchase all pale in comparison to giving cutomers stuff that actually works.

Is it good to stay in your lane?
When is it time overtake someone in theirs?

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© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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