Many of the products and services being sold today are extremely similar to each other. Sometimes, the only way a company can differentiate its product or service from those being offered by their competitors is a savvy and expensive marketing campaign. When it comes to their marketing campaigns, companies will resort to anything these days, be it famous models, 3-D advertisements, prize competitions, or even free product give-aways. Being that you’re a small business, you simply cannot afford these costly marketing gimmicks. And after you’re through with this article, you might not even want to.
Savvy marketing gimmicks can only take you so far when it comes to product sales. The truth is, there is a much more powerful and sustainable marketing strategy available to any small business that chooses to see it. It’s your competitive advantage. If your company’s product delivers a noticeably higher value to its end consumers, there is no need to resort to the gimmicks in the first place. Creams that really clear acne, shampoos that really stop hair loss, management consultancies that really help their clients double their profits – they sell themselves because they have a competitive advantage. Gimmicks will only serve to distract from the intrinsic value of the product.
Your product or service may have a couple of competitive advantages, but the only ones that are useful to you are the ones that are discernible to your customers. You must pick out these discernible competitive advantages and focus on them. If you can’t find one for your product, create one. Creating a discernible competitive advantage lends itself particularly well to services. The best way to illustrate this is with an example. There are a total of 11 supermarket chains in my friends neighbourhood and they all have approximately the same prices and products on their shelves. So why does he choose to do his shopping at G.S. Supermarket? Because he can order his groceries online and have them delivered to his front door within 5 hours. No other supermarket chain offers that service. G.S Supermarket took a good look at their competitive environment, created a discernible competitive advantage, and started advertising it.
Creating a discernible competitive advantage for your product does not mean you have to spend large sums of money on it. All it takes is a little time, willingness, and imagination. It’s a perfect solution for a small business such as yours. You already have the resources in place to implement this marketing strategy. Keep a close watch on your competition and take note of the things they are NOT offering, especially in terms of service. Ask yourself if you can offer your customers an augmented service feature such as a quicker delivery, house calls, longer warranty periods, more shipping options, alternative customer billing methods, or a gift wrapping service.
You can also refer to your customers directly for some clues. A customer survey could easily reveal a competitive advantage that you could develop. Find out why customers use a certain company’s service. Ask them what they like and don’t like about your company. Ask them to describe the perfect service that would accompany your product.
Once you’ve successfully identified a discernible competitive advantage, start making plans on how to incorporate it into your current product or service offering. If you do it right, you will have successfully executed a lucrative and effective marketing strategy, completely void of any expensive and frivolous marketing gimmicks. Now, that’s what I call big marketing for small business.
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Aaron Parsons from is an International award winning optimization expert, in demand speaker, author and entrepreneur coach that has coached entrepreneurs to profit growth exceeding 500% in as little as 5 months using his powerful Business Success Model.