Discovering Your How, and Owning It

Recently I wrote two blogs on the Inside Advantage, discussing the Who and What that make up your offerings.  Today I’m going to finish up this topic and talk about the How and the Own It’s of this great strategy.

The HOW part is your persuasive strategy that gets your Who (your core customer) to buy your What (your uncommon offering).  This approach doesn’t void out competition, but it does allow you to stay ahead of them and to stand out from them, a process that is both dynamic and constant.

Bob (author of Inside Advantage) states that there are five hallmarks to a good persuasive strategy:

  1. It must be action-oriented, not just a vague promise or sincere commitment.
  2. It must define the specific action right up front; the first word must always be an action verb.
  3. It must be strategic, not tactical – it must state “what” your product will actually do, not “how” the product will do it.
  4. It must be honest and achievable, not imagined and unaffordable.
  5. It must be tightly integrated with your definition of the core customer and the reality of your uncommon offering.

A few good examples (the book has several more) of How statements are:


Help Mom select the symptom-specific Triaminic formula that has only the medicine her child needs to get well as quickly as possible.

Juicy Juice

Demonstrate that Juicy Juice is the healthy juice for kids by comparing its 100 percent pure juice-absolutely no added ingredients formulation with the ordinary competitive juice beverage drinks.


After you’ve discovered your Who, What and How, the last part is to define your Own It’s, which are the imaginative acts that celebrate and support your advantage.  The Who, What, and How are your own private awareness that can only be made known to your clients through “imaginative acts” that celebrate your What (your uncommon offering).

Demonstrating imaginative acts might look like this:

A newspaper wants to earn the community’s trust by making it a better place to live, so they offer reader coffee talks with reporters, free article lamination service, advertiser appreciation lunches, recipe contest, new-neighbor showcase or an amateur art contest.

The book provides Own It examples for an upscale tanning salon, a sports and entertainment marketing agency, a prominent wealth management firm and a renowned symphony orchestra just to name a few.  Implementing Own It’s for your company is a great driver to support the message you want to convey to clients and to prove to them that you mean it!

Often times in business we say and write about who we are and what we do, but it’s in the Own It process that we put actions with those words and prove to our clients how we’re different.


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