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Business Creativity & Innovation

My Other Car Is A Porsche

My other car is a porscheOften used to hide embarrassment, many people will recognise the phrase ‘My other car is a Porsche’. It was mostly found scribbled on the back of a dirty old rust bucket or on a car sticker that had been given to a husband or boyfriend by a well-meaning partner.

Maybe some people really did have another car that was a Porsche but aside from the humour factor, many people were actually ashamed of the car they did have.

Some may think that this is peculiarly British but many of the examples (and variants) that I have seen come from the USA.

It does not matter what the origin is, we all do something similar, we apologise for something that we see as being inadequate rather than try to do something about it.

In business, we might say something like ‘this is just our first attempt, the next version will be better’. Your customer wants something better now and does not want to buy two. So what are you going to do about it?

For a start, try not to be a jack of all trades (and master of none). A Porsche might be good on a motorway or racing circuit but it is likely to be beaten on a country lane by a mini which is smaller, more nimble and holds the road brilliantly. Unless the Porsche you have is an off-roader then it will get stuck in mud easily and be beaten that rusty old Land Rover that you like to laugh at.

So the lesson here is to determine which market your products and services are targeted at and be clear about how they meet the needs of your customers. Secondly, don’t apologise for any failings or idiosyncracies of your offerings. If there are any, think about why they are there and get rid of them if they are unwanted. If you have to apologise for your products or services then why should your customers want them? Note that this is very different from handling a difficult customer service situation where you may very well need to apologise.

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