What Makes Your Business Unique?
Some always asks this question, it’s a way of measuring whether that someone should do business with you or not. I was on a Forum this week and someone posted the thread title exactly as this post.
Let’s do this, let’s say you own a business with a saturated market, you and thousands like you sell and support the exact same product & service. You have the same inventory, you have almost identical costs. You can’t just say you have the world’s best support and get away with it. So what is more important, uniqueness, or solving a problem? Do people do business with you because you are different (unique), or because you actually solve a problem?
Is it a chicken & egg thing? I frequent a restaurant here in my community, it’s unique only in that they do something to the food. They have tables, waiters & waitresses, menu’s, alcohol, friendly staff, and good service. How do they make it? I mean there are literally hundreds of restaurants in my community, why should I eat at this location? Because they are unique? I don’t go there because they are different.
They do solve a problem for me, but I can get my problem solved anywhere, so why do I keep going back to this establishment. It’s simple really, and it should be for you. The common denominator for me is not uniqueness or a problem being solved, it’s because of the relationship I have with the owners. Ya, the food they serve is different, it’s an acquired taste for this old man, the food is fabulous. I know we don’t think of hunger as a problem that needs to be solved in this country, but if we were in a 3rd world country with a food shortage, that would be different. They would be solving my problem of hunger…if I could get in, or could afford to eat there.
All businesses should do one thing extremely well, and that is to make sure, no matter what the cost, your customers don’t have a reason to speak poorly about you and your business. How are you doing with that, and how do you measure your success & failure, better yet, how quickly do you fix the brokenness?
While sifting through the Forums posts on this topic, someone posted a funny, in reference to the question of uniqueness. They said, we’ve got a dragon : ) that is kinda cool isn’t it. I would probably come see you if you had a dragon.
So, is it more important to be different, does being different bring you business? It might if you solve a problem in a cool unique way, in a way no one has ever done before. But it still has to solve a problem, it can’t just be a novelty, or an amusing thing.
I do believe it’s a combination of being unique, solving a problem, while maintaining and or building on the relationship with your clients. It’s a small town rule thing, everyone wants to be treated special, with respect, and most of all, they want to know you care before they do. So which is it, uniqueness, solving a problem, or is it the relationship? By today’s standards, not yesterdays. And just what are those standards anyway?
What do you think is more important, uniqueness or solving a problem?
I’ve been thinking about how much time a person or company should spend on Marketing / Promoting their Blog. Is everything you do on your Blog considered Marketing and or Promoting? I mean everyday you do things like branding, PR, adding content and making sure your name (company name / brand) is everywhere. Is there ever a time when marketing what you sell or do is too much marketing? I can’t imagine an executive ever saying we are advertising to much, we have our name out there too much we have saturated the marketplace with our Brand. If you do have someone like that, he or she probably won’t be there very long. I would rather have the problem of too much business and too much awareness than not enough.
Some of the tasks involved in marketing & PR today are changing subtly, because the rules are changing, now that Social Media has become mainstream you can’t just set it and leave it. You have to listen more than you do anything in todays new marketing environment. So, how much time should you spend listening? More than you are probably willing to spend time doing I’ll bet. If you aren’t willing to listen, how will you know what to do? How will you know when to do it?
So I keep asking myself, how much time should I spend doing PR & Marketing my blog? I think you should invest more time listening and then figuring out how you can solve what you just heard that day. So, do you market your blog everyday? How much time do you alot for that task?
Do you promote your blog everyday? I would love your input so please leave a comment below.
What is considered successful marketing using Social Media Networks, is it how much money you made, how popular you are, how many hits your site(s) get? Many think Social Media is just being a good Internet Marketer, not so. There is this thought process of “looking out there” rather than looking in your own backyard in the Social Media World. Why is that? Is it merely thinking big or is it Ego, I think the later has a lot to do with it, we all want our 15 minutes of fame and this is the easiest way to get it.
The old saying, ” Think Globally, Act Locally” is the right approach regardless of the grandeur or weblebrity that might come from all the marketing efforts you expedite in these Social Media Networks. The Internet is the vehicle and Social Media is the platform of choice to deliver your opinion, to be heard, and too be seen! Video is now the rage within the Social Media Networks, be seen and heard is socially acceptable!
So how do you apply these Social Media Networks to a local way of doing business? If print is dead, what options do traditional businesses have in a tangible way to market their business. To quote Guy Kawasaki – ”Advertising is when you tell people how great you are. PR is when someone else says how great you are.”
Print ads have a life span of a day and a half, Radio & Television is a frequency problem and direct mail is a low ROI challenge, what should you do? You have to mass mail or run HIGH rotations of ads, you can spend more money producing no or low results the traditional way. The bigger problem isn’t the vehicle as much as the way business owners think! Old thought processes and methods are written in stone in the walls of their brains, making it very difficult to see the value in Social Media Networks.
Mike Wesely of Twittalk.tv during one of his shows suggested that building the relationship first is paramount, this will build trust which will allow you to influence those who follow you. This trust, like face-to-face relationships, takes time to develop so be patient and care about people. I had the privilege of speaking with Mike on the phone and I can tell you Mike loves people and truly wants to help people with Twitter. You can follow Mike on Twitter @mike_wesely and attend his Twittalk.tv Show for free.
Branding is the BUZZ word these days and frankly should be in traditional forms of making your business or product be top of mind. So, nothings really changed just the method has, the glue, the difference, is and always has been in the relationship. We have become markets of Social Circles that depend on knowing that its safe to buy or deal with a person or business. But most of us just want to belong and be in a safe fun place. Hang on, is that new? We as a people have always been like that, we are creatures of habits.
Now I’m really confused, if nothings changed then why has everything changed? The principles remain the same and have to be applied to every social market, only the methods have changed, not the principles of how and why people buy. So Think Globally and Act Locally helps me communicate to my target market or niche in a more accurate way. By the way, the original phrase “Think Global, Act Local” first appears in the book “The Evolution of Cities” (1915) by Scots Planner and social activist Patrick Geddes.
The world of business has not changed all that much, much of what you do to sell goods and products will continue, you will however add new ways of marketing. The principles of marketing will remain the same but your methods will change, this is going to be determined by where the largest flow of traffic is going not too mention where the greatest pool (demographic) of dollars resides.
You should and will have interaction with people at some level, so you will influence (sell) someone to get them to do what you want. Social Media Networks are best used in your PR efforts, not in advertising programs. No matter what you do, improve and be the best you you can be, because today’s markets are becoming very personal. I hope the shift to a more Social environment will make it possible for everyone to realize their dreams. Don’t forget your community for the sake of reaching the world, localize your Social Media Networks to serve your business and above all, care for your customers no matter where they reside.