Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Have a Difference, Make a Difference

I visited yesterday with a professional opening a new practice, and left greatly impressed by the care he had taken to set his practice apart from the many (and in this case, very many) competitors.  He invested heavily in special diagnostic equipment and special furnishings and did so on the basis that these would help him define himself in ways the competitors could not or did not.

This is a step too few business owners take at any time, and it is really the most important aspect of positioning a business.  Think of how many highly competitive markets you know (e.g pizza bakeries, dry cleaners, sandwich shops, chiropractors, etc., etc.) and how hard it is for the typical consumer to tell one from another.  How devastating is it for a small business owner to hear that "they're all the same."?  Taking time to set a difference will make a big difference.

I'm not a big fan of the pizza box model and saying "you've tried the rest, now try the best".  That's lazy brand positioning.  Look at specific services and products you have.  Are there specialties that you can emphasize?  special source materials?  years of experience?  state of the art equipment?  look hard at the business and list all the things that could potentially make yours stand out and then pick those that would most attract the attention of a discriminating consumer.

Also, look at how the competition is positioning themselves.  Perhaps you will be lucky and find that they are not trying to differentiate!  but knowing what they say may help you direct your own positioning statements.

Bottom Line:  Take the trouble to stand out.  Help the customer pick you!

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