You know who I am. Even if you don't read half of what I send you, you probably recognise my name. Either I'm the person who sends you great advice on marketing or I'm the one who keeps e-mailing you stuff every week.
Either way, you know who I am and what I do. Now, can you say the same for your potential customers? When you go to industry gatherings, do people you've never met walk up to you and say, "Hey, I really like what you do"?
When preparing your positioning strategy and your advertising message you've got to make sure that your product or service is ahead of your competition. So emphasising the benefits and attributes that makes your business different from the rest is important. Here are a few basic concepts that businesses are aware of but find hard to practice.
People will drive long distances past many shops, malls, butchers and restaurants just to get to a specific store that is in line with the vision of a product or service they desire.
People want to portray an image of themselves in a certain way which they want others to see them by, and they will jump through hoops to get to that product or service.
Price, product and service are considered as factors if a person is trying to create a certain image and if a seller provides them that identity they will definitely lean towards that business.
If a business can produce the right balance of personality we are more likely to use one business rather than another. Such as friendliness, after service care, product knowledge, hospitality and benefits for loyalty.
For example when visiting my local Chinese restaurant there are three other Chinese restaurants providing the same standard of food, the North East China Family restaurant (notice how I remember the long name by heart) provides me all my requirements and makes me feel at home and has a relaxed friendly atmosphere that has won my loyalty.
In real estate there is only one factor for becoming rich, location. But sometimes convenience can be as important for example a store that has a close car park and provides easy access to the store can have a competitive advantage due to this reason alone.
For example sometimes we would rather go to a small local shop than a big store to buy an item just so that we don't need to queue in the shop. We don't mind paying a few extra cents for this convenience
In modern times, service is just not provided as promised, this is where looking in the past will give you an idea of how well businesses treated their customers. If you can't service your customers in a timely, caring, courteous manner do not promise this as it will give your business a bad image
Finding a unique selling point for your business should be done during the initial planning stage of your business plan i.e. when drafting the business plan.You should be able to separate yourself from your competition and offer something of value that your competitor doesn't. For example - a product that your competitors do not sell.
If you do have a unique selling point make sure this message gets across and you work overtime to keep this message recognised by your customers. So if you are the only shoe shop providing no lace cross trainers then it would be a good idea to advertise this.
Lowering the price is understood by most businesses as being the easiest and most effective way to compete against their competitors. But be careful when using this method as you can fall into a price trap. If you run your business on selling cheaper than your competition then you must understand that you have to keep the consistency up to retain customers which can result in lower profit margins. Although this is a viable way of attracting customers, it should not be done alone as it could hamper the business.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!