Extend It Like Beckham!

2007

David Beckham's 'revolutionary' Deal to join LA Galaxy for a reputed £128 Million is an amazing move. Some would argue it's outrageously too much, others may say he's wasting his undoubted talent by playing in a minor league and not competing with the big boys.

On the other hand, maybe this is a great example of someone just extending their competitive advantage. Without doubt, he's a great player, but perhaps not in the 'world's best' category any more, and therefore he has to utilise his other attributes. These include his profile, his looks, and yes, his wife - he's more than just a footballer.

In other words, LA Galaxy are buying the complete package which is significantly more than his footballing skills.

By committing to the MSL, he's also chosen a niche market to compete in where this extended competitive advantage creates a significantly bigger and better impact.

What does this mean for your business? I think there are a couple of ways of looking at it. Firstly, what is your 'more than' made up of? Customers too are looking beyond your 'technical skills' (in fact, most take those for granted these days!). What do you have that makes you stand out, be different, and be appealing (it doesn't have to be your husband or wife!)?

Too many businesses focus on the core product or service which to be honest is the same as everyone elses. The Golden Ball businesses recognise that it's other stuff that differentiates them – the personal service, the speed of response, the customer experience, the packaging, the aftersales service to name just a few examples.

Secondly, by packaging together all those elements that create your competitive advantage (or enhancing some of them), could you too be looking at the less traditional markets? What opportunities exist for you outside the normal boundaries of your business? Which niche markets would allow you to make a massive impact with what you have to offer?

Maybe, it's the less obvious parts of your existing markets that hold the key. It could be certain customer groups or particular products and services that historically you've ignored that need re evaluating. In other words, spend some time looking away from the premier markets for opportunities.

David Beckham may not be the best player technically in the world, but he maximises what he's got and charges a premium price for it. Your business might not be technically the best in the world at what you do either, but are you utilising your competitive assets and maximising your opportunities?

Take an honest look at your business, evaluate your markets, assess your competitive advantage, and research for opportunities to 'extend it like Beckham'.

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About The Author

Andy Hanselman
Andy Hanselman

Andy Hanselman helps businesses and their people think in 3D. That means being Dramatically and Demonstrably Different. An expert on business competitiveness, he has spent well over 20 years researching, working with, and learning from, successful fast growth businesses. His latest book, The 7 Characteristics of 3D Businesses, reveals how businesses can get ahead, and stay ahead of their competitors.