Being Unique

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. So here’s where the rubber meets the road: those who don’t shop at Whole Foods is because of the “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.

How much can you spend on a cup of coffee at Starbucks?

I decided to find out, so I conducted an informal marketing survey. As I traveled around the country, I would go into Starbucks, walk up to the counter and say, “I want to buy your most expensive cup of coffee.” Almost always without hesitation (but with a curious look on their faces), they would typically offer a Venti Salted Mocha Frappuccino or something like that. “How much is that?” I asked. “$6.25.” they responded.

Then I say, “Can you make it more expensive?”

“What do you mean?” they ask.

“I want to buy the most expensive coffee I can,” I insist. “For example, could you add some shots?”


“How many can you add?”

“As many as you want.”

“Yeah, but the Venti cup only holds a certain amount, right?”


So, they figure that up. Then almost without fail, another employee comes along and says “You could add some flavors.” They are quick to remind me that I won’t be able to drink it and I assure them that’s okay because I don’t want to drink it, I just want to get the most expensive cup of coffee I can find.

The highest price I have been able to get so far is $43.27!

Don’t worry, I didn’t pay that, in fact each episode ends the same way, “Never mind, I’ll just have a tall cappuccino.” They didn’t laugh either. But I do always gave them a big tip for playing along, and they liked that. I recently came across a video of a guy who did the same experiment with Starbucks. He created a great video of the interaction and the actual sales receipt!

Harley-Davidson isn’t concerned about being the cheapest bike around, right? They have created such an experience around their brand that people are willing to pay a high price to own one. Recently we held a leadership retreat in Colorado Springs, and a couple who are in our coaching program rode their Harley all the way from Florida. They built a 17-day vacation around the event. I went outside to see their bike, and the husband was beaming as he showed it off. It had a nice trailer, and he explained how it was top-of-the-line and how it had all the bells and whistles.

“How much you got in this bike?” I asked. “Sixty-five grand,” he responded. He explained that the trailer had to be custom painted to match the bike and so on.


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