If you’re comfortable hiding behind your company brand….
STOP READING NOW
But if you Really Want to Stand Out….
BOLD IS NOT BORING
Image Credit: pexels.com
People buy from people, not companies, corporations, or anything else. People buy from people they Know, Like, and Trust. The late Zig Zigler added a fourth critical element, Respect. So Be Bold. Be Audacious. Stand Out in your sea of sameness. The natural inclination is to market like your competitors or market like the big corporations. “It must be working for them, so it should work for me” is so wrong it’s crazy.
If your competitors are using traditional means by which to market their goods and services and you copy them, you’re going out of business. And the big guys in your industry are using Monopoly money.
I mean, they have deep pockets of investor’s money, and they can throw money at the issue until they hit the right formula. You as a small business owner don’t have that luxury. The money you invest in marketing is YOUR money. That’s money that keeps food on the table, gas in the car, a roof over your head.
Mid-level and large companies are historically impersonal, detached, humdrum, transactional beings that don’t truly care about their customers.
The few that “get it” are few and far between. In either case, very few use the term “Bold” anything in their vocabulary.
The consumer is now in charge of the purchasing of goods and services. Here’s how the bold used to do it, and how it should be done today.
Image Courtesy: AMC Networks
The days of Madison Avenue pushing fancy ads in the hopes of snagging a small portion of the entire population. Clients paid huge money for these ads, and guess who ends up paying for it? The consumer researches their purchase intent and finds either the best price or the best quality.
That may have worked last century, but what consumers are really trying to find today is the BEST VALUE. Price is really secondary. Be Bold.
Depending on the market you are penetrating, there are different levels of available, discretionary spending. However, if you are seeking sustainability and longevity, don’t focus on the middle-class shopper. More on this in a moment.
One major thing small businesses, solopreneurs like CPAs, Attorneys, Coaches, Speakers, and Medical Wellness Practitioners (the niches I work in) often fail to remember is to be bold, stand out, provide value and be the face of their brand.
People are much more fun to interact with than a faceless corporation. People have emotions, and buyers and sellers who resonate produce successful transactions, and hopefully, repeat transactions.
Selling on Price
When competitors operate on price, the first one to actually win the game is the one that has to give the goods into bankruptcy. Think about it. If your competitor sees your price and undercuts yours, what do you do? Most of the time you’d cut yours. And, so it goes until there is only one winner. Do you want to be the first one to reach the bottom? If price is your differentiator, you’re running a going out of business sale with no fixed closing date.
Image Credit: pexels.com
That’s why selling based on price is a losing proposition. Besides, price shoppers are the way they are due to the lack of discretionary funds.
Instead, sell your goods and services with unsurpassed value.
There will always be price shoppers, they are the great masses. There will always be middle-market consumers, but that segment is shrinking daily. Next, there is a very small segment that price is inconsequential, they buy what they want. Lastly, there is a sliver of the wealthy that is Super-Wealthy.
To which segment of the market do you wish to aspire?
The NEW 80/20 Rule
Here’s an extension of the previous point I’d like to make. The economy is made up of 80% of people just surviving, living off the government for at least part of their subsistence. Then there is about 15% of people that are relatively comfortable, but they don’t have much in the way of top of the line goods. They have modest, if any, money set aside for emergencies or retirement.
Then there is that 5% left. Even that is segmented. There are the wealthy. They own expensive homes, cars, personal belongings, etc. But, they have a mortgage, car notes, credit cards, etc. So, even though they produce a large income, they really are still limited by it.
The Super-Wealthy, that final 1%, hasn’t a financial worry in the world, as long as their investments continue to produce consistent returns. Even if they experience dips, they have more than enough. If they want something, they buy it without hesitation.
They live a bold lifestyle, one that is often envied by lesser beings.
So, that’s the 80/20 Rule of economics. But I want to let you in on a bold consideration. Stay away from 80%. Don’t operate on price.
You may think you should aim for the 20%, and if you get lucky, a 5%’er might fit into your customer base. What I am recommending you target 2% of the 20%, that upper tier of the upper segment of the market.
They not only have the money, but they also have the ability to spend without too much worry about their savings, investments, or retirement funds. In fact, if they are in the Boomer class, they want active lifestyles and have no interest in retiring. They’re spending their retirement so they can “live the good life.”
If you are selling goods or services that meet any of those needs; travel, anti-aging, cosmetic surgery, second homes, better cars, boats, you stand a greater chance at higher revenues on a transactional basis.
But, the only way to effectively market to that 4% is through VALUE. Find a way to be as unique as you can so that there is no one to compete with. That way, you’ll stand out as a market of one and not a drop in the sea of sameness called your niche.
One of a Kind
Today’s consumer is bombarded with marketing messages each day, approximately 5,000 per day according to stopad.io. And that is just from people trying to sell something. We’ve become immune to them.
The distraction of thousands of messages creates noise and a blur, so if you’re not using your uniqueness to carve out those that resonate with you, you become invisible.
If you haven’t yet figured out EXACTLY what makes your business UNIQUE, you’re wasting your money on marketing and advertising.
If you haven’t yet figured out EXACTLY who is your ideal client, customer, or patient, you’re wasting your money on your marketing and advertising.
Bold direct response marketing gets people to pay attention, even for just a moment. If the message resonates, they’ll digest your message. Who knows, you just might identify the market segment of your future.
Your uniqueness is vital to not only your brand but your business’ sustainability. Providing outrageous value affords price elasticity. You can charge premium fees because you are offering value no other “competitor” in your market area does.
You see this everywhere, but you may not have noticed. Here are some examples for you to consider:
There are 493 dentists in Tampa, Florida, and there is a population of approximately 385,000 people. Yet there are only about 6-10 that actually charge more than double their so-called competition. Why is that? (it’s not the right neighborhood)
Boston, Ma. Has one donut shop for every 2,400 people, yet only 2 charge more than all of the other shops across the city. Why is that? ( it’s not just because theirs taste better)
About 627,000 new business formations are registered each year in the US. The SBA reports that 30% of new businesses fail within the first two years, 50% during the first five years, and 60% within the first ten. Why is that? (it’s not the lack of capital)
Men’s hat and cap stores count more than 2200 in the United States, producing a whopping $2 Billion per annum. Yet, Sheplers sells a Stetson Diamonte men’s hat for $4999.99 Why is that? (because there is a small but high-income market for it)
However, there is a hat presently for sale for $3 Million. Yep, you read that right. At least it was in 2015. It’s known as The Hat, a Montecristi Panama hat. And, Panama hats originated in Ecuador. They’ve been worn by kings, presidents, and heads of state from around the world. Don’t believe me, look it up.
Image Courtesy: Brent Black Charlie Sheen paid $25,000 for this hat.
Now I realize that this isn’t sold in the US at a retailer, it’s sold by Brent Black, as a fundraiser for keeping the art alive. It’s been predicted the art form will die by 2025. These hats are more than a 200- year-old art form. The global market is shrinking because of reasons of supply and demand. They are a craft that the town of Montecristi depends upon. When demand shrinks, so does supply. Brent Black is taking a truly BOLD move taking on the responsibility of saving a two-hundred-year-old art form, but an entire town as well. Now, that’s BOLD.
It takes BOLD action to get ahead in this new world.
Competition will continue to grow as the internet has leveled the playing field. Small companies can compete against industry giants.
A quote from Zig Zigler – “A timid salesperson has skinny kids.”
Don’t be timid, choose BOLD.
I realize this is just a taste of what it takes to become bigger than you are, but time and space are limitations. If all goes well, next time I’ll delve deeper into this and other topics you might find interesting.
PS – It isn’t the best business with the best price that survives, it’s the one that is best marketed. That’s a bold statement.
David J Dunworth is the Chief Experiences Officer of Marketing Partners, a marketing advisory services firm.
David has lived on 4 of the 6 continents with plans to finish the lot.
David has lived on 4 of the 6 continents with plans to finish the lot.
An author of 6 books, co-author of 2 more (one of which is an international best-seller in eight categories).He loves writing and reading, cooking, and rescuing glasses of red wine from evaporation. His books are on Amazon, and you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org., or drop a comment on his blog at marketingpartnersllc.com/blog.