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The New Currency of Differentiation

By David Penglase

In a business world of price and product parity, where it is increasingly difficult to differentiate on the quality of a product or service promise, sales and customer service teams are struggling to create that little bit extra that will help them to stand out from their competitors.

Westfield Shopping Centre has caught onto two well researched and validated powerful tools that boost our wellbeing and are fundamental to the pursuit and achievement of goals. What are these powerful tools?

Hope and Optimism!

Our local Westfield Shopping Centre at Miranda has caught on to how increasing hope and optimism in their customers’ lives can increase the number of people they attract to their shopping centres.

If you were to go back only a few years, the very thought of the hassle of getting a car park at the shopping centre was enough to put many people off so much that they would not bother about even trying. Or, realising how tough it might be to be lucky enough to snag a car spot, people would be lined up in their cars for hundreds of meters before the car park even opened.

But now, Westfield is using a strategy that increases people’s hope and optimism. It’s a surprising simple and yet ingenious strategy. As you enter the car park now, two things have changed. The first is a large neon sign that informs you of exactly how many car spaces are available. Hope and optimism are increased, and people feel positive rather than hesitant and negative as they enter the car park. This all increases their positive mood, which bodes well for the Westfield retailers – people who feel happy when they shop, tend to buy more.

As you enter the car park, now knowing there are more than enough car spaces for you to find a park, Westfield then make it easier for you to find those car spaces with green lights above the vacant spots.

This is drawing on the science around gamification. It’s like hide and seek but knowing you’re going to win, because you already know there will be enough green lights for you, it’s just staying hopeful and optimistic that you’re going to find it.

For all of us in business, where we are operating in this world of price and product parity, we need to be asking ourselves how are we contributing to the hope and optimism of our customers along their buying journey with us?

Positive psychology is not just about being happy.

Here in this blog and in my conference speaking, masterclasses and coaching of leaders, sales and service teams, I’m sharing the research findings and positive psychology interventions and strategies that demonstrate the importance and practical value that can be reciprocally given and received when we apply positivity, trust, hope and optimism, meaning and purpose, gratitude, mindfulness and of course, intention.

These elements of positive psychology go well beyond just happiness, and are the real currency of differentiation in a world of price and product parity, because they are fundamental to what makes people feel good about who they are and what they’re experiencing in their lives.

If you're a leader in sales or customer service and you'd like to explore how to practically integrate these elements of positive psychology into your client engagement processes to differentiate and win more new, repeat and referral business, give me a call at our Sydney office on +61 2 9546 2492 and let's explore the potential.



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