Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost put it so eloquently when he penned these words. From this prose we can find great advice in business. Go where others have not or few have dared.
I have posted before that going where others have not is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Frost speaks of two paths, the easy well-traveled path which many have traveled and many more will follow and the path that creates a difference in the traveler. Traveling the lesser path is a great metaphor for creating something new for yourself and the customer.
As in life, business has its paths also. These paths are a bit more diverse than just two options. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore write in the book “The Experience Economy” that there are five paths a provider can take when delivering their offering to customers. They describe these as “The Progression of Economic Value.”
Unlike where to travel, these progressions are more about how to deliver. I am not saying it is not important when establishing a unique offering to go where others rarely travel, but it is just as important is method you choose to deliver your offering. The chart below is a thINKing Canvas of this progression.
The more advanced your method of delivery comes a greater challenge in the delivery, yet also the greater value and return from that method. I would suggest, as do the authors write, to move past traditional methods such “Services” and design your offering around creating an experience that customers find greater value and with greater value comes an increase in price. Customers will pay a higher price for a unique experience than a traditional service where may others exist. We are back to Robert Frost’s advice to take the path less traveled to make all the difference.
My advice, follow the word of Robert Frost and walk where few have traveled or create a whole new path that others may follow. The journey defines you, not the destination.
Until next time, keep a strong vision in your mind, but always draw it out so others can see.