First of all, let’s just get this out of the way – Morty Seinfeld is not the #1 Dad, it’s obviously myself. I ordered the shirt, so it will be official soon enough.
The premise of episode 151 – “The English Patient” – was Elaine’s disdain for the movie by the same name. We are also introduced to Magic Pan crepes and George’s nemesis Neil. Our focus today is that innocent, pale blue, undersized #1 Dad shirt. Via Kramer, one finds its way down to Florida where Morty discovers it and assumes it as a gift from his son. The rest is pure comic genius as we meet the Mandelbaums, back injuries, ambulance runs, and somehow it all gets tied back to crepes.
#1 Dad – I liken the claim to the countless businesses we work with that talk about their “best customer service” or “lowest price” or “coldest beer” (apparently, the mountains turn even bluer on their cans). Anyway, it’s not true and most consumers know it. Someone is always going to have a cheaper price, better service, and though the laws of physics tell me otherwise, they probably have colder beer too. True differentiation is far more complicated.
Focus on true differentiators, those that are much harder for your competition to copy. These are your best options for building a moat around your business and keeping others from stealing your lunch.
The other part of today’s lesson is if you are going to say you are the #1 Dad (or cheapest/coldest/etc.), then you better make sure that all decisions revolve around that. As soon as you slip up, someone will always be there to pounce, steal your shirt, and take over the reigning (albeit self-nominated) #1 Dad.
Dan Beenken is Director of the UNI Small Business Development Center