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Be Different or Be Extinct

Aug 17, 2007
We go about running our businesses 24 by 7. We handle all of the customer issues, we make sure the numbers are right, we coordinate all of our resources. If there's one thing we forget to do though is let the world know how uniquely we do things. I think the reason for this is because we get so involved in the business.

The bottom line is this-because we don't communicate how we're different, consumers assume that you're like everyone else. In the marketplace, people generally perceive that one accountant is like the next, one landscaper is like the next, and one electrician is like the next.

The truth of the matter is that you and other businesses are different. But a majority of the time, businesses simply don't communicate this. They go about their businesses every day and wind up in the same position that other businesses that don't communicate how they're different-the position of competing on price. And let me tell you that this just isn't a good place to be.

The worst case scenario is a slow languishing death as you keep cutting the price to get business. I've seen this in pretty sizable companies whose long-term "strategy" was to gain as much market share as possible then sell. More often times than naught, however, these same companies wound up filing for bankruptcy. I'm sure you would agree that there are few benefits to competing on price.

Part of the foundational marketing strategy is to identify what makes you different. The truth is that as you are different, your business is different as well. Whether this difference, this uniqueness, has to do with your offerings, or your processes or your customer service, you need to pinpoint them (I suggest finding three ways that you're different), and package them creatively.

By showing how you're different on a consistent basis, the value to your ideal audience will rise. When your value rises, the sales cycle shortens and your customers are more likely to pay higher prices. This a much better option than competing on price, isn't it?

Before I go on, I want to point out that years ago, having better customer service, or having a good product line, or having reasonable pricing might have been a difference. But in today's world, all those things are expectations. Assume that you must have all of those things just to stay in business.

So what are some examples of difference, or uniqueness? It's a financial planner who provides auto detailing while performing an annual evaluation. It's a roofing company who provides a thorough inspection before offering pricing. It's a real estate agent who sends a gift basket when she gets a listing.

Oftentimes I find that companies already have differences in their businesses and it's just a matter of identification and, in some cases, enhancing those differences.

Does that make sense? Finding this difference forces you out of the commodity business and immediately begins to communicate how you are unique.
About the Author
Scott Campbell owns Impact Marketing, Inc out of Atlanta, GA. He installs a marketing system, called the "Ultimate Marketing System", into businesses and practices in the Atlanta, GA area.

Learn more about Impact Marketing and its solutions here at http://www.impactyourcompany.com.
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