Industry Research

Why Would Anyone Want to “Fit In?”

Posted on May 1, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

Have you ever taken a step back from what you do to look at our industry as a whole? Try to view it objectively, as would someone outside our world, and what do you see? Recently, I reviewed the entire LCT subscriber file. I found company names that all said the words “transportation,” “limousine,” or the ever-popular one, “worldwide.” In our quest to “fit the suit,” we seem to be commoditizing ourselves by lack of brand, service, and product differentiation. After staring at 9,000 operators on our file for a few days, I could easily close my eyes and envision the color BLACK, a sea of SEDANS (black again), men in dark suits (um, that would be BLACK SUIT). And my head was spinning with the sameness of words used just in companies’ names, let alone their taglines. If I hear one more time that a company serves “500 cities worldwide,” I swear I will barf.

Stop for a minute and think about a prospective client or an existing one who is looking at you — at your website, your brochure, your business card. Then think about other service industries, such as the spa, hotel, or the restaurant business. Successful service businesses are ones that everyone simply MUST check out, because they offer…what is that lost word again?. Oh, yes. They are d I F F E r N T.

Ask yourself, “What is possible?” and not, “What is somebody else doing?” No one gets ahead by copying the status quo or imitating competitors. The concept of being unique or different is far more important today than it was 10 years ago. In the emerging era of over-communication and hyper-competition, people are overwhelmed by choice.

Let’s go back 40 years. In the 1968 Summer Olympics, a young man named Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high-jumping technique. Using an approach that became known as the Fosbury Flop, he won the gold medal by going over the bar back-first instead of head-first. He didn’t rely on the commonly used technique, as did all of his fellow competitors. By challenging assumptions, he raised the performance bar for everyone.

Creativity is your key to the future, my friend. All progress comes about as the result of finding better or different ways to do things and this requires the continual honing of your creative thinking skills. Simple ideas like having your chauffeurs say, “On behalf of ABCD, we hope your day is successful in every way,” rather than, “Good Morning,” is unique and what’s more, that one is free! Remember, when you are trying to attract new customers (or hold onto your existing ones), think about the end-user. Choosing among multiple options is always based on differences, implicit or explicit.

All progress and innovation is the result of finding new — often radically new — better or different ways to do things and solving customer’s problems, and this requires the continual honing of your creative thinking arts and skills. The benefits of functioning more creatively can be enormous. You can win customers and retain them by being…oh, that word again… d I F F E r N T.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

What The Traveling 1% Really Want From Tourism

They are looking for the same things — experiences and bragging rights — they just have the means to take it up a few notches.

How Major Names Are Disrupting Luxury Travel

Having the best hard product is a given. Now it's about experiences.

Luxury Travel Market Soars On Longer Vacations

According to a survey, 69% of luxury travelers take two-week vacations, while 25.5% take one-week vacations.

Millennial Business Travelers Want Better Mobile Moments

Corporate travel is being shaped by digital natives, which means companies must adapt to meet their unique habits, or be left behind.

Healthy Travel Jobs Growth During Trump's First 100 Days

With 15.8 million employees, leisure and hospitality was the top sector for U.S. jobs growth in April.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - May 2017 $12.95 Post International LCT Show Issue COVER STORY: * Best Operators of 2017: Their Winning Secrets Revealed * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close