Finding Your Difference

Guest post by Randy Vaughn


Whether I’m speaking to a room full of entrepreneurs, or across the desk from a stressed out small business owner trying to get his head around marketing, I inevitably navigate my audience through a few simple questions.  This is not the whole of your marketing system, but it’s an upfront exercise I do with everyone I work with.  I ask them several questions, but end up with one that is most important. I ask, “How does your product or service help the customer in a way that no one else can?”

I live in the Fort Worth-Dallas metro area where target markets are as numerous and different as are the number of car dealerships.  Speaking of this group notorious for one-size-fits-all marketing, a recent radio spot for an automotive dealer makes this claim: “We have better deals, better financing and better customer service. We are simply better.”

Wow. That’s a naively arrogant statement.  Plus, it’s a lousy differentiator.

If you listen to Jay’s podcasts or read his blog, you’ll hear him talk about being remarkable.  I love the way he drives small businesses to create these marketing magic spots that inspire loyalty and launch word-of-mouth marketing!  As marketing thought leader Seth Godin always says, remarkable means “you are worth making a remark about.”  If you claim that you are “better” than your competition, your customers might nod in agreement but yawn in boredom and keep their enthusiasm to themselves.

Do you have a unique product that no one else sells?  Are you the only franchise, licensee, or distributor of that product/service in your geographic area?  Do you use online web tools or social media to creatively communicate with your customers, making you the envy of your competitors?  Do your customers rave on Facebook to their friends about the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and overall impression of their experience with you?  Do your business values strike a cord with your target audience so that even your authentic charitable participation in the community makes you the talk of town?  Or do you simply look just like everyone else?

Showcase Your Uniqueness

You probably think you have a superior product and believe you offer the best customer service in town, but let your customers do that bidding for you in the coffee shops and online forums.  Focus your attention on showcasing your uniqueness so that you create customers who repeat with you  and who will go out and tell the world.  Loyal ambassadors are systematically cultivated in the distinct experiences you offer your customers.

Randy Vaughn is Fort Worth- Dallas’ only Duct Tape Marketing certified consultant. You can find him online at Randy Vaughn of The Marketing Twins.

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