Ways to be distinctive: delivery models
Whilst the culture of an institution is an often quoted route to distinctiveness another way cited in our interviews with leaders of organisation's outside HE, was to offer a new or different delivery model.
This is one in a series of articles which bring you ideas from outside the sector that give specific examples of distinctive features. These have worked for other organisations, and they may work for your institution too; or spark off other ideas to explore.
For a gym, this was about offering a facility specifically geared to women. By devising a 30-minute circuit of a range of equipment that enabled anyone to fit an effective exercise regime into a busy day; seeking locations in towns and cities which would be convenient to drop in to; providing support and an environment designed to appeal specifically to women and restricting membership to women, Curves© have created a distinctive offering in the health sector.
For a hotel chain, it meant devising a style of hotel that offered a sense of style and luxury without the price-tag. At their inception they were carving out a niche that hadn't existed before. Their hotels were different in looks and service. Over time, their success has led to their approach being copied and they have gone on to develop the character of their hotels and what it means to be a part of the Malmaison brand – either as a member of staff or as a guest.
For a gas supplier, it meant revisiting the service delivery. Research showed them what annoyed gas users most about existing suppliers and they set themselves up from the start with a UK-based contact centre, paperless billing and interest paid on credit balances. Ovo Energy was voted 'Top Energy Provider' in the 2010 Which? Switch Consumer Survey.
For examples from HE which might spark ideas about how innovation could set your HEI apart, see our related resource: Ways to be distinctive – innovation.
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Topics: Establishing your distinctiveness.