differentiate yourself

The Single Biggest Marketing Mistake

differentiate yourself

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You see it all the time. Most startup businesses do it. Most existing businesses do as well.

They fail to differentiate. They seem perfectly content being generic.

You’ve been on the consumer-side of this marketing problem. You have a problem you want solved. You do a little bit of research.

Every firm says essentially the same thing. Sure, the words may not be the same. The colors, fonts, and other design elements may be different. It’s sad…

Most people are value buyers.
Many industries turn them into price shoppers.

Most people want value – the right combination of quality and service, given the price.

The businesses in many industries differentiate so poorly, people have no choice but to make price the driving factor.

The single biggest marketing mistake today is me-too marketing.

Are you guilty?

Potential customers see your competition. Then they go to your website. They see an ad you’re running. They hear a radio spot.

It screams: “Me too”. Maybe it’s “Me too, only better.”

Which raises another question: Why?

Why do so many firms engage in me-too marketing? In most cases…

The reason that businesses resort to me-too marketing is a
simple one: they just don’t know what makes them unique.

Do you know? If not, it’s likely for one of two reasons:

Have you thought about it?

You may not know because you haven’t taken the time to determine what it is. Let’s face it – it isn’t easy to define what makes you unique.

It takes a fair amount of listening, talking, and thinking. It won’t happen in one setting – it’s a process that reveals the answer over time.

It’s hard work. It’s frustrating. You will be discouraged at times. You’ll begin to think that you’ll never find the answer that you seek.

You may even start to believe you aren’t unique. But you are. And you will find what makes you unique. So press on.

Do you know where to start?

There’s another reason you may not know what makes you unique. You may just not know where to start.

Don’t feel bad. You’re in good company! Let’s see if we can move you a little closer to the group that stands out.

Many businesses don’t compete locally anymore. Sure, you may have local competition. But you also likely have regional, national, or even global competitors.

But keep this in mind: Most of your potential customers are not going to conduct exhaustive research.

So it’s not important to determine what makes you stand out from all your foes. You only have to differentiate yourself from your primary competitors – the businesses you bump into regularly as you pursue customers.

With these competitors in mind, ask yourself: What makes you better?

Now ask a more important question: Which means?

But don’t stop there. You may go five or more rounds. Just keep asking yourself what it means until you have an “aha moment.”

Then run with it. You’re ready to start building a message that conveys your uniqueness.

It will help you cut through all the clutter and noise so you make more money, more dependably. That’s BIGG success!

How do you differentiate yourself?

2 replies
  1. Ray says:

    Do you find that product differentiation is about actual differences in your product or the way your product is presented. The product we provide is too technical, from my point of view, to differentiate based on the product. It’s a much better product, but I don’t have time to explain it and you don’t have time to listen. Yet technical people are overly interested in technical details that most buyers don’t want to understand. Example: Apple. They have essentially a less compatible product that costs more. They called their display retina rather than 1980×1600 and boom it’s the next reason to buy an apple. Is product differentiation is as much verbiage as it is value? I think I just answered my own question.

  2. George & Mary-Lynn says:

    Ray, You kind if did answer your own question! Great question and analysis. We’ll just add: Product differentiation makes a difference when (1) it’s what the customer wants (even if they haven’t fully recognized it yet) and (2) the benefit of the difference can be simply communicated. If a buyer doesn’t understand it, they won’t buy it. Make sense? = George & Mary-Lynn

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