Some of the most enjoyable sessions I attend at NAR Annual Conference are the EES or Entrepreneurial Excellence Sessions. This year has been no exception as we had the opportunity to listen to William Taylor, the co-founder of the cutting edge magazine Fast Company.
William started off his presentation with an example of an industry that, like real estate, has been struggling for the last several years – the airline industry. In the last decade this industry’s combined losses have totaled more than $60 Million! Yet despite this difficult environment, one airline has risen above the rest to be profitable and successful while others have failed. That airline is Southwest. Everything Southwest does is different and unique in a field where most are indistinguishable from one another.
Taylor’s message was simple, you have to differentiate yourself, much like Southwest Airlines has, to be successful in both good and bad economies. Here are just a few of his top quotes from the session:
“Being able to clearly and succinctly verbalize your value proposition will make all the difference in your business.”
“Being in the middle of the road means you are on the road to nowhere.”
“STOP asking what keeps you up at night and start asking what gets you up in the morning.”
“Think differently! Your brand is your culture, your culture is your brand.”
“Business today isn’t about price, commission, etc It’s about making everything more memorable for your customers.”
“Brand of the future will offer something that is hard to come by, be committed to a big idea, & intensely human.”
“The job of leadership is to help your organization see the opportunities to do things differently.”
“You can’t let what you know limit what you can imagine.”
“Tap into the hidden and collective genius of your customers and colleagues.”
It was a great session and really got me thinking about how important it is to be different than my competitors. Would love to hear some of your thoughts on doing thing differently and incorporating some of William Taylor’s ideas into your business.