Reverse-benchmarking, aka an invite to biz progress

Does ‘reverse-benchmarking’ mean anything to you? 🤔

If you’re anything like most people, probably not.

In business, benchmarking = aligning your biz practices with your industry’s ‘standards.’

Reverse-benchmarking is setting up your biz to do the opposite of your industry’s ‘standards.’

You might find this hard to believe, but reverse-benchmarking is both one of the most profitable ideas in business and one of the least-used ideas in business.

Reverse-benchmarking starts with 2 steps:

Step #1: Write down every ‘industry rule’ in your business.

To help you get started, write down:

- How products/services are designed.
- How products/services are priced.
- How products/services are sold.
- How products/services are delivered.
- How products/services are advertised. (We could go on, but you get the idea.)

Step #2: Try to figure out how you can do the opposite.

If you manage to execute the above 2-step idea well, chances are you’ll be well rewarded.

Not convinced? Fair enough. Consider this: When the first iPhone came out, unlike all other phones on the market, it didn’t have push-button dialing.

Or this: Shinola is a Detroit-made brand of watches, leather bags, bicycles, etc. Although Shinola products have the heritage look of a decades-old brand, the company is brand new (6 or so years old).

The folks at Shinola decided to reverse-benchmark the way products made by new brands look and feel, and the world went gaga over it. (Just Google it.)

Want one more example?

Most people love to watch movies. And for most people the most practical way to get their fill is to rent movies. Netflix didn’t need a fancy algorithm to get that, right?

Netflix also didn’t need a fancy algorithm to see that paying late fees, or driving down to video stores to get movies were not activities that most folks enjoyed. And yet, having stores was an important benchmark in the movie rental industry.

We all know what happened next: Netflix reverse-benchmarked its industry rules by saying no to both late fees and video stores. (They first shipped movies via snail mail, and then via the interwebs.)

Still not convinced?

OK, consider this: “The only way to make real money is to offer the public something entirely new, that has style value as well as substance, and which they cannot get anywhere else.” — James Dyson, inventor of the now-famous Dyson vacuum

You know we could go on.

But the real question is: Will you turn down this invite to start reverse-benchmarking your biz? 🤔

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