As we grow and develop we realise that to be different is not only a good thing but it’s necessary. It can’t be any truer than in the world of business. Finding ways to be different enough to be remembered is what advertisers call “cut through” and it’s that point of difference that a business uses to get it’s message read, voice heard and products sold.
People who could be prospective customers are constantly bombarded by many messages every day from thousands of businesses wanting a share of their wallet. Potential customers log into their Facebook, upload on Instagram, read the online news and open up an app. Then they take the journey outside their front door and see messages are plastered on billboards, buses, trains, trams, bus shelters, magazines, flyers and handouts and street giveaways.
Buy this new thing – it’s perfect. Buy this other one – it’s 20% this week. Want to look like these people in this ad? Are you up with this new device? It’s never ending.
The problem is we learn to block out or dull down the “noise” created by advertising because on average one person can now receive anywhere between 4,000 to up to 10,000 advertisements per day (1) .
Are you worth noticing?
When a business is asked “what is it about your that makes you different” the real question is “what is it about your product/service/business that is worth attention”. A business’ advertising and marketing can only work as hard as the information that it is given. If there is nothing that is solely and completely unique about the business then it will invariably be placed in a “copycat” category and placed below those that more superior in the market. The One Week At A Time video referenced the book called Purple Cow by Seth Godin, who wrote the book to help Business Leaders think about themselves and their business differently. The interesting thing that he had to say (among many ideas) is that “marketing is the art of building things worth noticing”. The job of the Business Leader therefore is to look around and find that “one thing” that will make a customer remember them.
How to find your ‘different’
Now it’s all been said many times before. Find your Unique Selling Proposition. Everyone talks about their USP but do we really know what they are? The quick meaning of USP is – it’s a marketing message that makes it super easy for the customers to know who they are and what they stand for. There are many words that can be picked on to express this such as “best quality”, “fastest service”, “widest range”, “best variety”, “innovative” and so on. All of which are meaningless without a story. A good business can become great when they create stories. Here are 5 simple ways to find out the point of difference and the story:
- Original founders.
When was it founded? By whom? What was that person like? (special attributes are memorable). These people can add gravitas to a business, especially ones which needs to ground itself historically and quickly. Longines (high end premium brand) markets themselves as having heritage as far back as 1945. Rod Laver Arena is an internationally known Melbourne sports centre using the famous Australian tennis player as its namesake – forever adding cache and kudos to its venue.
- Original Seeds.
When you first started out what was the one thing customers all said they liked and wanted? Sometimes we lose sight of the core reason we started a business, and often, going back to the very beginning can provide good information. A street food supplier may have forgotten that its customers absolutely love their soups and would line up for hours (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!).
- Individual style or attitude.
If the business was a person, what kind of person would that be? (this is a brand building question but also works well with USPs). Think about people who are used as the “face” of a company. George Clooney, Richard Branson, Kate Moss, Pat Cash – they have been the style and attitude on front of the Nespresso, Virgin Empire, Calvin Klein and Bonds products and services. Personalities lend their existing popularity and unique following to companies to show an aspirational person using the product (prompting the unconscious “I want to be like them” response).
Where in your business do you create emotion in people? How do customers gravitate to you? Ask them. You’ll be surprised in some businesses how important this element can be. As people we like to feel we have invested our money and in return gained something more than a transaction. Think about what added experience the business provides customers where they leave with a “feeling” as well as a product or service.
The tech world are full of them! Life hacks. Body hacks. Dad hacks. It’s a growing trend that isn’t going away. Ask this of the business – does it provide a disruption in the market that will change the way people currently live?
These suggestions are only a small snapshot of how to think differently. Like in life and so it is in business – we can only be the people that we are and give what we have.
The global market tends now find consumers demanding this sense of authenticity. Of being who you are and doing it well. That’s why it is even more important in business today than in previous times to find what it is to be different. After customers learn what the business is about and what it is “famous for” the possibilities are endless. The USP can be applied to many other areas of operation (not only marketing and advertising) allowing the business to expand and grow in a completely unrepeatable ways separate from its competitors. A Business Leader needs to emphatically seek to out that one area that all customers, staff, partners and suppliers can identify with. Find out what, inside the business is only “theirs”. Then own it. Say it. Live it. Breathe it. That’s how to truly stand out from the crowd.
If you would like to discuss how you can boost your conversion rate for your particular business situation please contact Brett Burden, Senior Business Coach on 1300 971 763.
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