Surely there are other responses to fill the blank with. The one I want to focus on is:

Unless………You Have Something Unique To Market In The First Place.

I worked with a client who initially approached me with a simple marketing need: to revamp their website. After visiting their establishment and meeting their team, a bigger need emerged. They needed to figure out what set them apart from their competitors.

The $5000 Burger at Fleur dy Lys in Las Vegas: Gimmick or Genius?

If you’ve ever watched Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, you will clearly see his ongoing frustration with struggling restaurants and how they are always in denial about where they stand in the pecking order of customers.

What is your business known for? If you can summarize your business in 2 sentences, what would that be? If you are a restaurant, what kind of food do you serve and who is your market? Who do you compete with, and how do you differentiate yourselves from them?

Think about why a customer would ever want or need your product/service. Then consider applying the following tactics:

  • Sell an item(s) that none of your competitors offer. Being exclusive is one thing, but being exclusive WITH quality to boot is what you should aim for – that’s what keeps them coming back.
  • Take existing items/popular items, and make them better than your competitors can. Many competing stores sell the same widget, but how are you going to differentiate the widget so that it’s a better value-add? This is where packaged deals can come into play, or, if you’re a restaurant – kick that hamburger into high gear.
  • Sell an item(s) that will attract a specific (but not too small) market of customers. If your community is surrounded by wealthy empty-nesters, why not offer a selection of premium items as an add-on to your offerings? You may not sell alot of them, but just one sale could make up for an otherwise slow day. What’s important here is to promote that elite menu to further stroke their egos.
  • Know your brand and what you represent. Creating  the “look” of a storefront is the easy part, and people always seem to spend the most time and resources on that. Having the right “vibe” to attract the right market, as well as maintaining the quality and consistency of your products however, are the biggest challenges that 9 of 10 businesses face in their first 3 years.
  • Build passion in yourself and your staff for your business. The Law of Attraction rings true here. When customers see how passionate, knowledgeable, and accommodating your team is, it’s the first step to getting them to willingly part with their money to receive those same experiences through your product/service.
  • Avoid the pitfalls of short-term fixes. Reactionary tactics such as lowering of prices, menu changes, weekly deals, new website – while they may attract first-timers, are never long term solutions. Take a step back and truly understand why and where your business is unique compared to your competitors, then emphasize those.