What’s The Difference?

by Jerry Hobby on March 27, 2012

What’s The Difference?

I meet a lot of people who are starting a new business or at least contemplating it.  There are two very common challenges facing most of these startups.  Both of them are really just two angles on the same dilemma.  Maybe it’s a left-brain or right-brain thing.  I don’t know.

One crowd seems to be looking to start a business that doesn’t exist already.  They want to have an original product and whatever ideas they come up with, they get disheartened when they find out something like that already exists.   They rarely realize that practically everything has been done already at some level.

The other crowd seems to be looking to start a new business following an existing model.  They want to start companies “just like” other companies that they are familiar with.  This is actually the most popular thinking.  Web designers, accountants, car shops, restaurants, etc.

What’s common between them is that they both have a need to create a uniqueness amongst their competitors.  The first group wants a unique product or service and the second group wants to add a uniqueness in some other way.

What makes your company unique in your industry?  If you say, “nothing”, then we need to explore your business model a little further.  I assure you that you are unique in some way.  How do you find out what’s unique?   You need to find out how your customers decided to hire your company or buy your products.   Is it because you are closer?  Cheaper?  Faster?  Better?  Nicer?  Deliver?  Have funny commercials?   What is it that makes people decide to choose you?    If you are not in business yet, then still consider this point by evaluating how you want them to answer that question.

One of the most difficult and competitive differentiators is on price.  Low prices are the easy choice but it tends to make you bring your prices down to the levels of your lowest priced competitors.  Many of your lowest priced competitors either have extreme buying power and volume, or they are losing money.  This can put you in a race against those “losers” that results in both of you going out of business even faster.

Another thing to consider is that in most cases, customers do NOT make buying decisions on price alone.   In fact, I have conducted marketing tests that show that price has very little to do with the buying process for anything other than commodity merchandise.   Further, I have also learned that being the low cost leader also attracts a type of consumer that’s more demanding and that’s another issue that you have to deal with if you go that route.

Anything Internet is not trying to be cheapest.  We are trying to be priced competitively in the market, sure.  We don’t want to win customers on cheap prices, but we don’t want to lose customers due to high prices either.   Unlike our competition, Anything Internet focuses on your business goals and we design our websites and marketing strategies to help small businesses be successful.   Our customers are typically people who see the potential for their companies online and they choose us because that’s what we do best.

When it comes to creating your own differentiator, what matters most is that you create a really good reason for customers to choose you regardless of your pricing model.  Of course your prices need to be fair, but the buying decision is almost always made for other reasons.

Can you think of values that cause people to purchase, other than price?  Post your own in our comments.  There are dozens more than what I listed earlier.  Post your thoughts in the comments.

What is your differentiator?  Do you communicate that in your marketing?  Anything Internet is here to help you answer this question and put that answer into your website and marketing strategies.  Give us a call right now to schedule a free consultation.

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