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relationship, leads, and revenue. So Napier talks about Fanatical Support, which is a great value proposition. It’s both the positioning statement, the tag line, the strategy, the point of difference, and it drives marketing. What is your company about? For Rackspace, it’s all about those two words: Fanatical Support. The more you can nail what’s relevant by role, the more of a virtual sales model—an ear-to-ear sales model—that you can create. Understand what makes your company special in a rapidly evolving business environment, including areas of differentiation and value creation. The best companies have well-established processes to understand and develop competitive differentiation, supported by a process and criteria for prioritization of investment. What’s your company’s driver? If you don’t have the value proposition, the rest of the marketing doesn’t matter. It has taken Rackspace from $3 million to more than $200 million.

The Ecosystem

The best companies create a culture for collaboration based on leadership commitment, fostering a climate for partnering. They leverage technology and their organizational models to enable collaboration both internally and externally. This global ecosystem now does not just consist of your customers and partners, but their customers and partners as well. Collaboration is not just about the sharing of ideas, but the openness and honesty.

A great example about the importance of this ecosystem was demonstrated in November, 2007. Rackspace experienced an outage and immediately got to its customers to let them know how it was going to fix it. Rackspace decided to be open and honest on its Web site so that all its customers—those affected and those not affected—and all those communities, bloggers, and the world could see how it was handling the situation. What it soon realized was its customers were just the beginning of who it needed to communicate with. Kleber explains what the company did: “We learned that we have a whole ecosystem that’s based around what we do. And those customers of customers also wanted communication, and very, very open communication. So, we gave our customers communication through our portal, which is a restricted environment, but within a few hours, we just put everything out online. It’s like everybody needed to know about this situation. The content was about what was happening, the state of the outage, how we recovered, what we were doing, and who to call and how to get resolution. We were extremely open and had Napier himself talking to our whole ecosystem. I think we got improved brand loyalty out of our outage by the way we handled it and how open we were.” Here is the note in full:

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