What is the X-Factor in Your Business?

Nowadays, it’s too easy for businesses to drown amid growing competition. The advent of user-friendly web-building software and straightforward marketing techniques have brought about a surge of startups and entrepreneurs, making some companies with the most flawless of reputations fizzle out like a dead light bulb. The most important way for a business to sustain their presence amongst the noise and form a loyal customer base is to have a clearly defined X-Factor.

So what is an X-Factor? Each business in the world likely has more than a few characteristics in common with another company, such as a great location, a professional team, or a few dream products. A business’s X-Factor is not about these common positive attributes, but instead the unique characteristic that sets them apart from the rest. It’s about what makes them an intriguing and special company for customers.

For Amazon, their X-Factor is likely their Prime service with speedy shipping. Netflix’s revolutionary methods gave customers an out from cable with ad-free shows that they can watch at their leisure. And Coolbleu? Their everlasting smile…  Near me, there’s a bakery that sells buttery muffins as big as softballs. A solid X-Factor can give businesses a 2 X to 10 X advantage over their competing counterparts, so it will ultimately be the most important and most powerful factor for growth.

Finding Your X-Factor


An X-Factor is not something that can or should be copied. Each company is its own island with its intrinsic flora, fauna, and all else that gives it its individual characteristics. If you take a tree or other elements from an island in the South Pacific and plant it in harsh conditions near the Arctic, it will die. Rather, you have to find what makes your own island special and nourish it so that it blossoms and makes your island the best of them all.

If you don’t yet have a defined X-Factor, don’t worry. An X-Factor isn’t something to be pulled out of a hat; it’s something to take your time developing. There is a spaghetti bar in my city, claiming the best spaghetti in town (spaghetti is 85% of their turnover). It was founded 30 years ago and still has the same unique recipes, huge portions, and free cheese gruyère. It has operated on powerful word-of-mouth exposure since the beginning. One of the major bookstores located in the centre of my birth-city has a very wide range of books in all categories from novels to management to art books. The venue serves delicious espresso with great sweets. Cozy corners are abound where you can quietly ‘taste’ some books, and they have a free study room upstairs.

Targeting what will make you stand out in your specific area is how you can narrow down your company’s best X-Factor. Everyone has one; you just need to find it.

While you’re thinking about what makes your business special, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s the most valuable thing you offer to your customers?
  2. What makes your company shine?
  3. What are you and your company amazing at?
  4. How you delight your customer?
  5. When do you customer take you in the era of worth – of-mouth?

After You’ve Found it 

Finding your X-Factor is the most difficult part. Now, you have to strategise how to mold it to reach its best potential. Using mindful marketing and unique communication techniques helps bring attention to your business where customers will find your unique X-Factor. Don’t be afraid to show off what makes your business so special. And remember, your X-Factor defines your business, so make sure that it continually embodies the spirit of what your company embodies.

Details are what gives all things form, and it is in these details that we find the path to success. If you’d like a helping hand to better your current business’s positioning, consider contacting me for a free 15-minute consultation. I  know a more than a thing or two about nailing down a company’s unique qualities and reinforcing their X-Factors. Book your free 15-minute call now.

Customer Experience is crucial for you.

Customer Experience is crucial   for you.

Customer is crucial for you. Yes, it is for sure. It is the key to be future proof. “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer” as P. Drucker nicely and shortly quoted. This is the start of any business. It should be seen as a cycle, whereby at each re-ordering the supplier gets to know better and better his customer, building a relationship so that he knows or even anticipates how he can serve him better.As a consequence “the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

These two quotes highlight the importance of truly understanding and serving the needs of your customers. It included yesterday customer experience or “CX” informally already. Drucker recognised very early what we still see too often: companies create so much bureaucracy and are some so much occupied with themselves that they sometimes tend to loose site with the (end)customer or in other words with what’s really important.

Enhancing the customer experience delivers ROI. Satisfied customers spend more and stay more loyal over time. Moreover customer experience impacts total return to shareholders (TRS) dramatically. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index and the Medallia Institute CX-leaders achieve four times the growth in value of the laggards over a ten-year period.

How do these companies realise such wins? First, they find out what really matters to customers. Then, they excel at translating, measuring and industrialising this into their operations. As a result they take out cost and create new experiences, additional value and the profit that goes along with it.

Before investing in your customer experience, check where your product is in the life cycle and in the market. Is it still answering correctly market needs? If yes, it will be worthwhile to undertake customer experience journeys.The start of customer journeys often has a result that the churn figures improve. Customer are staying and business is saved. The second phase is where deeper and closer communication with key accounts allows to delight them and generate ambassadors that will do the marketing or word of mouth at no cost. The third phase is where the customers will help you discover new needs and innovate on products and services.

Author : Yves Ovelacq ©

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Forward Thinker: Barack Obama


On Friday, September 28th, 2018, Barack Obama was interviewed in Amsterdam at the  Forward Thinking Leadership conference. I drove over 250 km to be there, and his words resonated with us all in the deepest sense. Obama spoke about his experience and compelling takeaways from his time in the White House.

Keeping a Normal Life

As one of the most prominent, well-spoken leaders in White House history, Obama was asked how he normalized life in the most powerful chair in the world – especially coming from a humble background.  Besides sitting at the dinner table with his wife and daughters every evening at 6:30, he brought his mother-in-law into the fold, who lived on the premises.  Each evening, he’d open 10 letters from citizens and would proceed to read them at dinner. This made sure he and his family stayed connected beyond the “bubble”. Furthermore, Obama continually reminded himself that the baton would eventually be passed; that returning to citizenship would be his most important job.

The Power of Truth

While holding a mic that would reach not just his country, but billions across the globe, the former US President insisted on truthfulness as a speaker.  His speeches and text, completely written by him, carried an authenticity that he encourages, saying, “believe what you tell, and believe what you say.”  He emphasized this to companies, “because under an authoritarian leader corruption is lurking.”

When Barack Obama came into office, he hired a Chief Ethic that measured the ethical outcomes of decisions. With this, having an extra “check and balance” next to him was a bonus in making sure he made the right choices.

Lessons Learned

Michelle and Obama left the white house “with our souls intact”. They learned important lessons, like the power of storytelling, meaning what you say, practicing humility, honesty, and not getting sidetracked with who you want to be and climbing the power ladder; instead focusing on who you are now.  He puts humor on a pedestal and sees it as an important tool to “keep things in perspective.”

Even with the appointment of President Trump, Obama has faith in youth and he trains young leaders through the Obama Foundation, telling these youth that leadership starts with listening. And in the middle of tough spots, like the 2008 financial crisis, he found value in others who had experience.

Keeping his family together in the chaos of being the President of the United States was no easy task.  He credited his wife Michelle for being a “fantastic woman” that tied all the knots.  And in terms of keeping focused on what’s important, he says, “Contribute to the things that you find important. Make the world a little better every time.”

And with that, Barack Obama instilled hope, motivation, and kindness into an inspired group of onlookers. I left the Forward Thinking Leadership with a permanent pep in my step, and hearing from influential guest speakers as well as the former US President was a day to be remembered.

Want to know how I can help you with my inspirations? Contact me and I’ll show you how I can lead you on the path to workplace happiness and promising success. Happy to help.