One way small business owners advertise their company is “how they do their work.” Other than price, what could possibly be wrong with this? Let’s look and see…
Let’s say that Sue Smith is a CPA. When Sue introduces herself at a net- working group, it will usually sound something like this, “Hi, I’m Sue Smith with 1-2-3 Accounting Firm and we do taxes. If you need anything to do with taxes, just give us a call. We do everything from soup to nuts, A to Z, you name it, we can do it. If you need anything, just gimme a call.”
Isn’t it true that just about every time you hear someone introduce themselves or you see an advertisement for a company nothing stands out that makes them unique and different?
The problem is that everyone is saying the same thing. So if you do the same thing, why should people choose you over another company? Why should they pay you a higher price? They shouldn’t. This big mistake is repeated over and over by small business owners worldwide every single day. In today’s competitive marketplace, it is not enough to just tell what you do or to tell the features and benefits of what you do.
“If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anyone!”
If you want to dominate a niche, you first have to know what your niche is. Do you know that when you try to be “everything” to everyone, you won’t be “anything” to anyone? You want to be a BIG FISH in a small pond, rather than a minnow in a huge ocean. So, who is your perfect target niche client?
My good friend and business consultant Ellen Rohr explains a simple way to find out. Think about your very best customers. You know them— they never complain about price, they always pay on time, and they are a pleasure to work with. That picture describes your target niche market. Of course in your phenomenal marketing plan, you will determine the demographics (age, gender, income, etc.) and psychographics (purchasing habits, etc.) of your perfect target market.
Domination is a result of positioning.
In the classic marketing book Positioning by Jack Trout and Al Ries, they describe positioning as a slot in your target market’s mind much like a file in a file cabinet. To illustrate this, let me ask you a couple of questions: When I say laundry detergent, what brand first comes to mind? For most it’s Tide. When I say soft drink, what brand comes to mind first? Most would say Coke.
Regardless of what brand comes to your mind, the one that did is the one that occupies that slot—the file in the file cabinet of your mind. So your job as a phenomenal marketer is to have a system for positioning yourself at the highest place in the mind of your perfect target market.
Positioning and domination is a result of being UNIQUE.
Let’s look at three companies that have done this well:
1. Whole Foods—they recognized the growing trend of natural food enthusiasts (target market) and decided to take up a position in that space.
2. Starbucks—They created a unique experience around coffee—a commodity that has been around for thousands of years.
3. Harley-Davidson—Whether you’re a biker or not, you must agree that there’s a unique experience around owning and riding a hog! That could be good or bad depending on your view! LOL!
Being unique means you can charge more.
Why do you need to charge more? Because working 24/7 just to barely scrape by is not a phenomenal life. Remember, the only reason your business exists is to help you achieve your life goals. Why doesn’t the average person shop at Whole Foods? Because of “cost.” I personally love to shop at Whole Foods when I am home because they offer the natural foods that I want. I pay more, but I get what I want all at the same place. My wife points out that I could get certain items cheaper at other places, but I’m not interested in going to three different stores to get what I need, and none of the other stores have the natural food selection that I want.
Next month, I will share a personal story that demonstrates how creating a unique experience for your customers, clients, or patients means you can charge more.
Howard Partridge, President of Phenomenal Products, Inc. and International Business Coach, is the author of 7 Secrets of a Phenomenal L.I.F.E. and 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business. Get a Free CD that reveals the 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business by visiting his website at www.HowardPartridge.com/