Positioning your business strategically in the heart of your leads and prospects is perhaps the most critical issue to settle before you begin all your marketing efforts for your products or services.
The reason why is because:
The offer of your products or services that you make to your leads and prospects is not just about price and terms.
Sometimes if you charge too little, they value your product or service less.
If a consultant was only charging you say, $25 per hour for his work, you might appreciate his low price, but you would certainly decline his service….
…“How can he or she charge so little if he or she is any good?” you’d think.
On the other hand, if he or she is charging you say, $500 per hour, you might stagger at the price, but you’d end up accepting it…
…knowing his or her price is high because he or she is the very best at what he or she does, and you certainly want the very best consultant to consult with.
Are Gucci’s shoes and handbags really worth the staggering price?
Are Gucci’s products really that much better than other brands that are one-third the price?
Gucci’s products do not necessarily look anything different from the others’.
Gucci’s entire marketing appeal is that its products are ridiculously over-priced.
Apparently, that’s part of what people want when they buy Gucci.
The Gucci label shouts to their friends: “look at me! See how much I paid for this. I must have so much money I don’t know what to do with it all.”
What this looks to me is just like someone saying, “Hey! Look at me! I’ve just been ripped off!”
But there it is – that’s Gucci’s entire marketing pitch in a nutshell.
Smartphones and other smart devices are pretty good.
A whole range of companies are producing them, and they’re all good…but with little or no difference between the products of these different companies.
And the costs to get them are largely affordable to most people.
But Apple has figured out how to create a monopoly on the production of these electronic devices.
Then Apple figured out how to market their electronic gadgets, not just as costly, but as a way for people to show the kind of class they belong in the society.
So the question of price is not necessarily always about how low the price is compared to your competitors, but about the “positioning” of your product or service in people’s minds.
The question of how you “position” your product or service is the most important issue you must settle before you begin your marketing efforts.
Gucci is not really selling shoes and handbags…
Gucci is selling “image” and “status”.
Apple is not really selling smart, portable, and durable gadgets…
Apple is selling, “class”.
Figure out what makes you different – your Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.)
What is it that’s different about your business, your product, your service?
What is it that your business, product, or service does that no other business, product, or service does?
What makes you different from your competitors?
Marketers often toss around the term, “unique selling proposition” all the time.
But there are probably very small numbers of businesses that can say in 50 words or less why I or any other consumer should buy from them as opposed to all the other choices out there.
All this takes is some little thought and creativity.
Maybe what makes you different is that you are local.
Or maybe you’re different because you’re national or even multinational.
Maybe your advantage is that you’re small, or that you’re big.
Maybe your advantage is that your staff is old and “experienced”, or that your staff is young and “energetic”.
If you were to start a business that’d compete with say, Facebook, you don’t have to do exactly what Facebook does.
You only have to try to figure out what needs to be done in the art of social connections that Facebook isn’t doing.
You have to try to find a task that needs doing that no one else is working on.
Perhaps, you’d try to be even more specific and narrowed down to a path, say, business and job connections, just like LinkedIn is doing.
By taking this approach, you’d never become as big as Facebook, but you might become 20 percent or even 10 percent the size of Facebook.
You’d try to find some niche to dominate and become known for, some niche not occupied by Facebook already.
It would be hopeless to try to compete directly with Facebook, as hopeless as it would be to try to compete with Coca-Cola by launching an imitation cola.
Yes, other companies have done it.
Pepsi did it successfully with many billions of dollars in advertising.
Of course, Pepsi is unlikely ever to surpass Coke.
Pepsi will always be the #2 cola drink, at least in our lifetimes, and that’s not bad.
But even Pepsi emphasizes its differences with Coke.
Pepsi claims to be less “syrupy”, to have a “cleaner, more refreshing taste”, to be “chosen by 70 percent of people in blind taste tests”, and that it’s for a “younger generation”.
Pepsi never says it is the same as Coke, but rather claims to taste better than Coke.
But most of us don’t have billions of dollars to compete with the Coca-Colas of the world…
…so we need to do something different…
…something that’s clearly not being done by some other businesses that are a lot bigger and richer than we are.
So, figure out, or come up with something, that makes you different from your competition, and continuously hammer that theme into the minds of your customers and potential customers with relentless repetition.
Of course, your USP must be a difference that’s both needed and sell-able.
There’s no point in having a USP no one wants.
What new thing have you just learned? Let me have your thoughts in the comments section below.