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One Jnd

May 29, 2009

What is ONE JND?  Is that some kind of military code?  A GPS coordinate?  A password?  A typo? 

None of the above. 

ONE stands for ONE, as in the number 1.  JND stands for "JUST NOTICEABLY DIFFERENT".  As in the saying:  "I need at least one thing that is just noticeably different."

One of the most successful entrepenuers (in the B2B CFO® firm we call you "finders") that I worked with over the last 25 years used to say, in reference to products and marketing, that to be successful, you need at least one feature, one benefit, one trait that is just noticeably different.  More JNDs are better.  But one JND is required.  He marketed health insurance.  What was the JND?  "We pay 90% of our claims in 5 days or less, 98% in 10 days or less."  Worked pretty well, sold millions in premiums, the customers all knew what was unique.  It became the claims time payment standard in the industry.

I have a current client whose JND is his web site.  His competitors have no such presence.  He markets and installs stone kitchen tops, stone floors, stone bathrooms, granite counters.  All of the marketing is done via the web.  The site is clean, simple, emaculate, powerful.  It shows pictures of new kitchens. He has video of how the stone is cut and installed.  People do a search for stone or granite and where they live, and they end up on my client's site.  As soon as my wife saw the site, she pointed at the monitor and said:  "I want one of those [kitchens]".  ONE JND.

But the JND idea does not just apply to products and marketing.  I prepared a loan syndication package for a major refinancing.  It included all of the standard information about products, markets, competition, management, historic financials, etc. and of course, projections.  Other than providing data unique to the company and our particular financing, it was pretty standard fare.  But, we had ONE JND:  the projections included a forecast with two down years - lower projected revenues and profits.  The senior officer with the lead bank told me, after they had approved the transaction and funded us, that what he remembered in particular, and what they appreciated, was that our loan application package was different.  Nobody projects a down year!  ONE JND.

ONE JND is the minimum.  More is better.  Our firm B2B CFO® has lots of JNDs.  One in particular stands out to clients.  When a partner begins work with a client, we lay out the amount of time we expect to spend, and the initial and ongoing tasks to be done, plus a guideline of the expected cost and time commitment (two days per month, or 1 day per week, or ½ day per month).  Clients notice our willingness to commit and understand the vote of confidence we have in what we do.  ONE JND.

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