“They are one and the same”, I hear you say. “Not true”, I reply, especially when it comes to your customer’s perception of you. When it comes to launching a new product, that perception is important.
We live in a world filled with experts. Just about anyone who has a qualification can say he is an expert of some sort. Or indeed, someone with years of experience at the ‘coal face’, be it digital or otherwise, can rightfully claim to have some expertise.
But few can claim to be the authority in their niche
An expert therefore has knowledge and experience but an authority is able to go one step further and interpret the significance and impact that his expert insights will have on the market. It may be one small step for you but your audience will see a mountain of difference in the value that you offer.
Positioning yourself as the authority, the person who people turn to for advice, makes you a thought leader and a visionary. The person who asks the ‘what if’ questions and transforms the agenda so much that he is not looking to gain a foothold in a market because he actually defines the market.
A true authority influences opinion or behavior and is able to change people’s perception. Being able to sway people’s ideas like this, makes you not only part of the conversation but the person leading it.
This is a person who leads by communicating his vision to others. This is a person who calls on experts to put his ideas into practice. This is a person who is so in tune with his market that he can define challenges that it never really understood that it had in the first place.
if you are looking for one example of an authority figure, look no further than Steve Jobs. He turned a company, Apple, that had previously seen fit to fire him, into a 21 century powerhouse that was recently reported to have cash reserves of close to $80 billion dollars.
Going into a new market, you may be an expert but your goal must be to become an authority and one of the quickest ways of achieving that transformation is with a product launch. Or, more to the point, a series of product launches. Each one leverages the success of the last. Each one builds stronger and stronger bonds with the people in your market…