How marketing can stop your clients from picking your competition


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Choice benefits consumers, but it makes work harder for businesses. Choice in everything – from healthcare to restaurants to rental agencies – creates a competitive situation. The battle that used to feature local companies competing against each other locally has become a global capitalistic hot war in which everybody has to compete against everybody everywhere.

Companies can’t make mistakes. If you do, your competitors get your business and you don’t get it back very easily. Companies that don’t understand this will not survive.

This means you need to be different, as you have to give your customer a compelling reason to buy your product or service as opposed to your competitors’. You can create differences in many ways, but any approach involves stepping over a lot of potholes.  Trying to be everything to everybody can undermine your company’s profile.

Is marketing going back to Unique Selling Proposition?

Back in 1960, Rosser Reeves was known as the “King of the Hard Sell.” Reeves wrote a very popular book called Reality in Advertising in which he introduced the concept of the Unique Selling Proposition. Reeves gave this very precise concept a three-part definition:

  1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer – not just words or product puffery. Every ad should tell the audience why they should buy and what specific benefit they will derive.
  2. You must advertise a benefit that your competition doesn’t offer, such as a uniqueness of brand or a new claim.
  3. Your unique selling proposition must be so strong that it will compel customers to shift to your product.

Now is the time for your marketing to be different

Modern advertisers simply no longer recognize the importance of being different or the fact that customers make their buying decisions based on differences between products. It may not be “cool” to offer the customer a reason to buy your product but, like it or not, consumers like to be sold.

You can sell your differentiation by appealing to intuitives, thinkers, feelers and sensors. Intuitives are interested in new products or new possibilities. Thinkers are analytical and ignore emotional appeals. Pitch thinkers with facts. Feelers are obviously interested in feelings and can be swayed by third-party appeals. Sensors see things as they are and have a great respect for the facts. Often, people are a mixture of these categories, so it’s important to combine approaches.

But what USPs That Don’t Work

Today, the number of new products and the air of heightened competition make it much harder to hang onto your unique selling proposition. Some USP ideas work and some don’t.

These four don’t: 

Customer service and quality are rarely differentiating ideas

These are givens, not differences. The customer expects reasonable prices and quality service. Furthermore, ensuring quality customer service doesn’t guarantee either higher profit margins or customer commitment.

Creativity is not a differentiating idea

Advertising that doesn’t clearly tell the buyer what is special or different about the product or service will not work.   What will work is where you form a bond with the customer!

Price is rarely a differentiating idea

Price is often the enemy of differentiation. Making price the main consideration for selecting your product is a terrible strategy because any company with a pencil can compete. Cutting prices is usually insanity if the competition can go as low as you can. Actually, it is far more impressive to differentiate with high price because high-quality products should cost more and high-quality products should offer prestige. People will always pay more for the highest value.

Breadth of products or services is a difficult way to differentiate

As with price, breadth of offering is a difference that your competitors can emulate easily. Size also creates its own problems, because you have to worry about managing a large selection of products or services and confusing big store layouts.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Murphy
SiliconCloud provides high-quality, customized solutions to satisfy business objectives by leveraging the online space to drive leads and nurture customer relationships. SiliconCloud's integrated solutions of Web Creative, Analytics, Search Marketing & Social Media is designed to elevate your image, inform sales strategies and drive business. SiliconCloud means having a clear vision. Dozens of organizations in B2B and B2C arenas have counted on SiliconCloud to pave their road to the future by securing their online presence


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