Strong differentiator #9: Unique IP

Today we’re on to strong differentiator #9: Include unique intellectual property (IP) in your engagement.

Remember that weak forms of differentiation are claims that almost any of your competitors can credibly make. “We have a great process.” “We have a great team.” That kind of thing…

What is unique IP? Basically, it’s anything that you have invented that could save time, help clients make better decisions, or help clients gain some kind of advantage.

What kind of unique IP might you include in a client engagement? Some examples to get you thinking:

  1. Algorithms that you have developed
  2. Libraries, frameworks, and other re-usable software or design components
  3. Research that you’ve done or useful datasets that you’ve assembled
  4. Documentation, guides, books, or manuals that could help save time, improve decision-making, or deliver some other kind of advantage
  5. Proprietary processes or other forms of know-how that deliver better results
  6. Open source software that you have created and can integrate/customize for clients

How do you develop unique IP? A couple of ideas:

  1. What common misunderstanding or wrong way of doing things could you correct by conducting research and structuring your findings in a useful way? (ex: http://trustvelocity.com)
  2. What efficiencies could you gain by developing re-usable components?
  3. In what areas do you see clients relying on guesswork, tradition, bad precedent, or the wrong person’s opinions where reliable evidence or data would help them make better decisions?
  4. Where do you see waste that could be eliminated with better process or re-usable components?

Hopefully those help you get started thinking about what unique IP you could develop to more strongly differentiate your business and help your clients achieve better results.

Remember that most of these forms of unique IP rely on you seeing and responding to patterns that show up across multiple clients. You can’t really do that unless you narrow your focus enough to work with similar clients over and over again. Get help with that critical narrowing-down-decision at: http://thepositioningmanual.com

Talk to you soon,
-P

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