Chances are if you’ve created a company, someone somewhere has done something similar. There are hundreds of products and services for nearly anything you need. Think of toothpaste alone! Do me a favor and next time you’re at the store, stop into the toothpaste aisle and take note of how many options you have to choose.
But for a long time Tom’s of Maine was the only toothpaste to buy if you wanted organic, all-natural toothpaste. I haven’t reviewed the book Purple Cow by Seth Godin yet, but Seth touches on this topic a lot in his book.
What are you, compared to your competition?
And even more importantly, are you marketing it?!
A friend of mine owns a restaurant that serves virtually the identical recipes as four restaurants on that same street – one is right across the parking lot! She uses almost the same decorations, the same staff, the same everything. I had to hold back a laugh when she said she didn’t want to make herself unique by selling or giving away cookbooks with the recipes. “Someone will steal them and make another restaurant!” she said.
If you don’t differentiate yourself and publicize it you’re doing yourself a disservice. You might be able to limp along for a while, in my friend’s case she is sure if she gets her alcohol license all her woes will be over, but it’s a dead end in the long run.
Just screaming you’re cheaper with better quality means nothing in this day and age. Try and find a truly unique selling point and market like mad. I remember Triaminic ads that showed how their cough syrup was thicker than generic brands, toilet paper and paper towel ads showing which type was more absorbent.
Advertise your differences in a way that gets right to the core of what matters to your audience. Don’t just say it, show it.