Article 40: Focus on your Strengths!
Too many times it is the case that rival companies make the mistake of comparing themselves to their competition rather than focusing on their own strengths. Once you get yourself caught up in a game of comparison than you are as much marketing for your competitors as you are for yourself. The main reason is because for every point of difference you mention you make the assumption that everyone who reads it agrees with your perspective, when the truth is many already know the difference and continue to make the competitor choice. You are just reconfirming their opinion of your product and solidifying the competitors.
The approach you should consider is one which devotes 100% of the copy, claims and advantages towards your own proprietary product/service. Whenever customers make a choice know that they have a reason for making that selection. The higher the price point the more research, experience or council they have received. People choose McDonald’s over Burger King for a reason, Ritz Carlton over Holiday Inn for a reason. Your task is to give them more compelling reasons to choose your product over all others.
Lean to your strengths; Speed, Honesty, Capabilities, Unlimited Fries, Drop off/pick up service, Equipment used, etc.) People are looking for reasons to try your product not necessary reasons why not to use the competitor product. You can achieve business through negative campaigning, just ask any politicians, but the truth is people would much prefer to make the choice based on good solid core product strengths.
You are in business because you offer consumers something that they cannot get from anyone else. Your product is of better quality, superior performance, outstanding service, or a true desire to help them by solving a problem they have either faster, cheaper, or with more of a friendly attitude. We all have places we visit such as a specific restaurant, auto mechanic or dry cleaner because they give us a strong sense of satisfaction and remove the fear of the unknown. The unknown being will the food be good, will the mechanic charge me for work not performed or will my shirts come back with all of their buttons and no “new” stains.
However, we all also have companies that we loathe to visit but for one reason or another we do not have alternative choices. The department of motor vehicles is a classic example, or maybe you live a bit off the beaten path and the most convenient, for you, gas station or restaurant is near your home. You don’t necessary like the company, people or food but you go there because you have to or you trade off the mediocre service and food with the options of driving an extra 15-20 minutes and/or waiting for a table.
See it is all about choices. We all make choices based upon a multitude of factors but one of the main areas we need to focus or businesses on is our strengths. We achieve what we are looking for from our customers when we provide them, repetitively, with information about our strengths and how those characteristics will make their lives easier, better and more fulfilled. As long as you continue to focus/promote your strengths you are building a foundation which will carry and grow your business no matter what others are doing.
Jeffrey A. Mohr – Founder