Are You Making An Impact?

In the midst of a series on influencing others on the site, I pose the question, “are you making an impact”?

People and products that make an impact are exceptional and stand out. People and products that fail to make an impact are quickly forgotten.

If your product or service impresses, moves, or otherwise “wows” people, your challenge will be supplying enough. Apple computer has, for the most part, mastered the art of making an impact. Consider both the iPod and iPhone.

If your product or service does not make an impact, the product or you become a commodity–something that is useful but not indistinguishable from other similar products or services. Think of laundry detergent, “light beer” or your typical grocery store.

We see marketing campaigns aimed at differentiating products that are commodities all the time. For example, beer marketing campaigns tell us how a particular beer is different and better, while blind taste tests of beer fail to indicate much quality difference between brands.

Is your product or service a “commodity”? Look to the example of Apple or better still,, to learn ways of distinguishing your product or service from the competition.

When it comes to you as an individual, are you a “commodity”?

The fact is that most of us are commodities. Our efforts, even if competent and conscientious, fail to make an impact or if they do, the impact is short-lived.

Superstars in the worlds of sports or entertainment, make an impact with their performances and do so consistently. Superstars in the world of business do the same.

Look for ways to make an impact through the clarity of your thinking, the creativity of your ideas, the value of your “outside the box problem” solving and, perhaps most importantly, by adopting the priorities of your boss or customer while getting things done. Working hard and being competent are good but not enough alone to raise your value from commodity to stand out.

Ask yourself, “how do I make and impact”? Focus on being more than just competent and conscientious. Think about how you can make an impact!