Don’t follow the herd. Be different and be bold!
While it’s important not to stray too far from what’s already working, it’s just as important to set yourself apart from the average Bear, by being at least one hair fridge better than your competitors in one or more key areas.
And the key areas that matter the most are:
1. Price – Price should always be the last thing you should consider as a competitive advantage, unless what you’re selling is a specific Brand or model that is readily available through numerous other shops nearby, Kids on roller-skates or through an online alternative.
So, if the supply and demand for that product is already met, consider selling a different Brand or model that does more, performs better, looks better and sings in it’s spare time, even if the alternative has a heftier price tag.
And if what you’re selling is a service, then you can name your price based on the value that you provide to your customers, even if it’s many times the average market price. Besides, it’s so much easier to deal with customers who “genuinely” have more disposal income, as the money they would be spending is “disposable” and is in no way tied to their necessities.
2. Perceived value of the Product or Service – People are ready and willing to pay more for goods and services that do more and give more in return.
3. Product/Service Presentation – The Apple and Macintosh brands primarily competed on their aesthetic value and flawlessness, while nearly all their competitors at the time were busy competing on price and performance.
Apple still strive to make their products as pretty on the inside as they’re on the outside. So, their customers aren’t just buying a more robust piece of machinery. They’re also investing in a piece of art that they can admire and show off to their house Pets.
4. Presentation of the Work Environment and Employees – Your customers judge your product or service by every element that’s in someway associated with what you’re selling. So, how happy and friendly your employees are and how clean-cut their work environment is just as important as the product or service itself.
5. The shopping experience – Every store offers a different shopping experience, starting with the carpeting, the spacing, the presentation of the products/services, the price markings, the wall coloring, the lighting, the music, the furniture, the cleanliness, the sincerity, the friendliness, how many teeth are visible when been greeted etc.
Winning a customer is not about winning the sale. It’s about winning their hearts and thus their loyalty. Loyalty and references are what Businesses thrive on.
6. Customer Care before and after a purchase – Customer care is now an even bigger deal than before because most Businesses are now more concerned about the efficiency of their service and sales volume than in taking the time to put a smile on their Customers faces.
So, if the Restaurant that greeted you with a warm and friendly smile and were generous with their portions, now has a couple of mean looking bouncers with rolling pins at the door and are using measuring equipment to ensure that you don’t get teaspoon more than what they’re told to give out, then it’s safe to assume that they’re just a few short months from going out of business.
7. Expediency – Everyone wants good service. But no one’s prepared to wait around for it. So, there’s a fine line between taking care of your customers and not opening up a dialogue about how their week went.
8. Return on investment – Every product or service that we buy is an investment toward making life easier, elegant or efficient in someway. And any product or service that doesn’t live up to the hype pretty much does the opposite.
9. Comprehensiveness of the Product or Service – The more feature rich a product or service is, the more range of functions it has, the more efficient and cost effective is it, the more appeal it’s likely to have in the marketplace.
10. Testimonials – If there was a single metric that said it all in a few short sentences or less and also acted as the perfect Business multiplier, it would be this. In fact, the most effective marketing tool any Business can hope to have are favorable testimonials (online reviews in particular).