Game On!

Is business a game or something else entirely? Smart people can disagree, but I feel it’s helpful on occasion to view a company’s strategy and tactical choices like a game. By playing along with this “game of business” thought experiment, you’ll step out from playing inside your game and look at it from a different perspective, which will help you discover new winning moves.

The object of business is to build a profitable, growing company with satisfied, loyal customers. We know only some customers are willing to pay for quality, so to attract these higher margin clients, you need to both signal and deliver quality. Also, in their shopping and assessing processes, these better potential customers interact with competing firms and evaluate how helpful and expert you and your team are visàvis your competitors.

I’ve created a game board with four possible destinations for your business and brand. They are 1) Low Quality/Low Expertise, 2) Low Quality/High Expertise, 3) High Quality/Low Expertise and 4) High Quality/High Expertise. In this game, your company’s brand is your game piece on the board. The object of our game is to occupy the upper right quadrant of the board (High Quality/High Expertise). This is where the best customers are! Once there, your challenge will be to maintain your position and defend it from various marketplace actions that inevitably occur, some of which are foisted on you by your competitors.

I filled in a number of winning moves that, if executed consistently, will take you into the best position on the board (the upper right quandrant). On the game board below, take a look at the 12 game moves you should make using Diamond Certified Tools and Media (if you qualify) to increase both your company’s Quality and Helpful Expertise Position. Also, note that there are marketplace actions that hurt your brand, and these Diamond Certified game moves help overcome the effects of competitive actions and others.

board game 2

Let’s take a look at a sample of the Diamond Certified “game moves” I’ve recommended and their effect on your brand in the marketplace (if you qualify).

Move 1: You add the Diamond Certified symbol and link the DC Widget to all of your web pages.
Effect: Your company’s Quality Position goes up when potential customers view your website as they decide.

Move 2: You hand out reprints of your Diamond Certified Expert Contributor bylined article.
Effect: Your company’s Helpful Expertise Position goes up when you’re seen as a noted authority in your industry.

Move 3: You help us complete all of the articles on your Diamond Certified Company Report web page. Google now displays Google Stars at 4+ rating for this link that’s high in search ranking.
Effect: Your company’s Quality Position goes up when potential customers search your company name.

Move 4: We create your Diamond Certified Expert Video Tip and you add it to the homepage of your website.
Effect: Your company’s Helpful Expertise Position goes up as potential customers see your expertise in action.

Move 5: You hand out or mail your Diamond Certified Brochure to each potential customer.
Effect: Your company’s Quality Position goes up when prospects see how you scored “Highest in Quality.”

Your Move!
Look pieceat the game board again. If you earn Diamond Certified, you’ll have a huge advantage in the marketplace game when you use your Diamond Certified status and tools every day to powerfully build the position of your company’s brand for Quality and Helpful Expertise. You can make other moves on the game board as well. To increase your company’s Quality Position, consider adding more sharp photos of quality work to your website, painting your offices or vehicles, upgrading uniforms, conducting additional staff training for quality performance, adding quality control steps to your work process and celebrating tangible quality feedback with your team. To increase your company’s Helpful Expertise Position, consider attending events to “help” (not “sell”) potential clients, writing a monthly blog or article that’s sent to clients, training your staff to customize the delivery of their expertise and volunteering to speak at local organizations about how consumers can get the most quality from companies in your industry.

Every time you have an idea to improve your company, ask yourself, “Will this positively impact my Quality and Helpful Expertise Position?” If yes, do it. That’s how you get your company to the most profitable position on the game board!

Jim Stein, Founder and CEO

About Jim Stein, Founder and CEO

Jim Stein is the founder and CEO of American Ratings Corporation. Through his interactions with more than 6,000 local companies and analysis of over 1 million consumer survey responses, Jim has developed easy-to-understand strategies for consumers to enjoy consistently positive customer experiences and for companies to better satisfy customers, increase referral rates and reduce customer attrition.
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