What is the unique selling or product proposition? That is the question I ask myself before we get involved in any project or product we expect to advance.
What does that mean?
It means we need to be unique, a leader in some facet of the process. It could be price. It could be design. It could be comfort. It could be anything. But, it has to be something.
That is a question I find myself asking about our country on the world’s stage.
The Germans have figured out their unique selling proposition. It is precision. In many cases, they are not selling products based on price. On the contrary, their products are some of the most expensive in the world. In most cases, they make the machines that make other things. They have to be precise and of very high quality.
The Chinese have figured out their unique selling proposition. It is price. Because of their surplus of cheap labor and low cost structure, they are able to successfully compete on the world’s stage by offering products people can afford.
The Japanese have figured out reliability and value. They make products that are consistently good at prices most people can afford. They are not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but they give value.
This leads me to the American unique selling proposition. Over the past century, ours has been innovation, seeing the future and making products that fit future demand, creating markets where none existed, creating products we never knew we needed. It is our vision that has created our unique selling proposition.
There seems to be a shift going on in the balance of these unique qualities. The Chinese have figured out that they cannot continue to be the leader only in price. It is fundamental in their future.
In the world of energy, they have figured out they cannot be a slave to foreign energy. So, they have embarked on an ambitious plan to be the leader in renewable, green energy, the holy grail of commerce in the world. And, they are funding it at a level never seen before, over one trillion dollars.
If they are successful, they will become the visionary, the leader of future thought. Since their government model doesn’t leave room for the spotted owl or the lawsuit, they will move very efficiently.
And, if China is the visionary, the leader, the innovator, what do we have to offer?