It’s a given today, the competition is fierce and plentiful. How are you supposed to capture the market share you need to grow your company if the same old ways you have been marketing have flat lined? You have to differentiate yourself and that can be tough when all your competition is selling virtually the same product. Here are a few things to try.
Most of my clients tell me they have a hard time trying to figure out what makes them remarkable. Rather than trying to set yourself apart from the whole world narrow the focus in your brainstorming to just your closest competitor. Look very closely at what they are offering or doing or how they are marketing, shop them. Ask yourself what they are doing to get market share. There is something, marketing, price, product, availability, agility, something. You need to figure out why people are buying from them and then counteract it. Either zig when they zag, make them prove it, or lead them someplace that they can’t go.
Let’s say for instance you are a bridal salon and you are up against David’s. David’s is an established brand with national reach and an ad budget to match. Everything you are not. Your marketing should say that. “We aren’t a big box conglomerate whose selection is dictated by the home office, we are a very personal boutique that only selects style that reflects the women we cater to. No need to sort through endless racks of things that you would never wear. We go to market with our unique local clientele in mind. Let us show you what personal service feels like.” Boom, that is a campaign that the big box can’t touch. Now make sure that that becomes your mission statement and repeat it whenever and wherever possible.
Make them prove it. I once had a competitor that would come to wedding shows and practically force cake samples down brides throats, always saying ”Now tell me that isn’t the best strawberry cake you have every tasted”. Well it wasn’t. Every bride that came into my shop for a tasting got a piece of my strawberry cake and so did every consultant I could think of taking it to. If they were going to make a claim like that they had better be right! I made them prove it. Did it cost me a bunch in samples? Yes, a little. Did it sell a lot of cakes? Haha, you bet it did!
If your competitor is new and just doesn’t have the connections you have use that in your favor. Get comments for your website from the professionals that you work with regularly. Sit down one day a give all you friends in the industry a call and tell them that you want a personal comment, a line or two to use on the links page on your website. Nobody is going to turn down a link from good site. The more personal and glowing the comment the better:
I love it when our brides hire XYZ photography. X is so easy to work with and so professional. And I always know how great the shots of my cake will be.
Indulgence Custom Bakeshop
String about 20 of those along with the obligatory thank yous from brides and you sure look like anything but an unconnected newcomer.
Stop for a minute and think about what your competitor is using to market themselves and nullify it. Not only are you setting your self apart but you have just cost them money on a marketing campaign that is now worthless.
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