How often do you find yourself saying "oh, that's different"?
When we experience something truly new, we notice it. When creating a new customer or business experience, you should design to elicit that feeling of curiosity, interest and wonder in your users and your colleagues. Resist the temptation to round off the edges, especially early in the process, otherwise you might get plain vanilla.
There's real opportunity for companies and teams that do this well. And there's real pain ahead to make it happen, but that pain can pay off.
So how different should things be? When trying to do something revolutionary, I'm looking for things to be fundamentally different. When trying to do something incremental, I want to create experiences that are delightfully different.
The consumer's experience
The competitive dynamics in the market
How you talk about the experience
How something is sold
The ownership model for the user
The moment or mode in which you experience something
The value chain
(Delightfully appropriate photo from macwagen.)