“You have to be odd to be Number 1” – Dr. Seuss.
What makes your business different from the competition? This question is one to constantly think about.
Being different, or being odd as Dr. Seuss writes, is just another way of reminding you to help your customers identify your business and your business niche. What you sell may be the exact items as a business down the street, but how you do it can be your winning attribute.
So how can you be different? Many owners try to be the lowest price. The problem with that approach is it doesn’t take long before someone else meets or beats your price. Then you are into a price war that neither of you can win.
Some businesses distinguish themselves with service. Others build on having the friendliest staff. Wall Drug, located in Wall, SD, did it by offering free ice water and putting up advertising signs all over the United States (http://www.walldrug.com/history/since-1931). Today, you can find them all over the world.
The more unique your advantage and the harder to duplicate means the longer you can rely on it to distinguish your business. There is, however, no advantage what will remain in place forever. In this competitive world, getting ahead of your competition is just temporary. Staying ahead requires continuous effort.
In trying to stand out from the competition, you must make sure thought that your effort does not eat up all your time and money.
You also need to consider how this element is part of your entire marketing effort. How can you build it into the other marketing you do. A great effort that does not fit in with the rest of your plan goes back to the consumption of resources. You now spread yourself thin and may not do justice to any of your marketing efforts.
So, remember the words of Dr. Seuss. Maybe you don’t need to be odd, but your business does need a way to be different from your competitors. It’s one way for you to “build your business.”
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.