Whether public or private, agents, brokers and carriers alike are focusing on growth and differentiation to shape strategic initiatives for 2008. Growth is important as a vehicle to drive earnings, provide reinvestment capital, diversify product and service offerings, capture market share, and ensure long-term sustainability. Differentiation is one conduit to support top-line growth. Average agency/broker organic growth rates continue to decline as premium rate advancement slows. Expected average organic growth rates for agencies and brokers in 2007 will come in between 3.5% and 6.5%. The good news, however, is that the marketplace has become a more level playing field. Peak performing agencies sell the value of their products, resources and expertise as they relate to the needs of the client. When defining your differentiation story remember this four-step approach: 1. Understand what makes you different. 2. Know how to articulate it. 3. Know how to show it. 4. Ask others to share it.