Differentiation Through Education


Our client needed to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Despite excellent products, one of our clients was having a difficult time differentiating themselves from their competitors in a marketplace that contained many similar products. They already had a solid base of specific retailing customers who sold high quantities of their products, but they were looking for a way to build on those relationships and add unique value, not only to attract new retailers, but to provide added value to their current relationships within their retail base.


A unique solution provides value for customers and boosts our client’s image.

After evaluating our client’s position in the marketplace, we turned our focus to the needs of their customers—the retailer. We found a consistent challenge that existed among their customers: a lack of time and opportunities for professional development. To address that specific need and help the client stand out from other companies in the marketplace, Beck Ag created and implemented a peer learning academy as an educational tool for key retailers, using an internet-based, interactive training style. The academy was designed to engage participants in important subjects such as “Selling Value” and “Resolving Objections” through an open format, so participants could interact with peers and course instructors, and apply the tools immediately on the job. We surveyed participants each year to find out which topics were relevant in order to continue to add new classes that customers wanted and needed. Participants also had the ability to earn continuing education credit after participating in classes.


Our client was able to add value for their customers and improve their image.

Providing a unique service to the marketplace set our client apart from the crowd, and annual survey results spoke for themselves in regard to our the learning academy’s success: four-year cumulative results showed that more than 90 percent of those who were actively involved in the peer learning academy would recommend it to others. Overall, participants said that the program was useful because it:

Was convenient and an effective use of their time
Provided an opportunity to interact with peers and have access to subject matter experts
Offered the ability to learn about hot topics just in time for use of the skills/information in the field
Offered focused ideas that could be applied on the job immediately
Often provided the opportunity to learn continuing education credit

The client’s retail customers found the classes valuable and our client grew their image and business results through a strong market distinguisher: 89 percent of survey respondents who participated in a class said it improved or significantly improved their perception of the client.

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