Every company is unique. Every company has something that sets them apart from all the others. Products and services have been developed with care and dedication. But almost every company describes themselves to the customer base almost exactly the same way. The same phrases, same buzzwords, same claims, same features, same keywords. Customers are left to make up their own minds and without any differentiation they make the same choices: the one they know that costs the least.
The companies believe their products and services are their differentiators, and they would be right… from their perspective. The customers, however, have no idea what it is that sets those products apart because they are described the same.
A company may decide to invest in marketing and technology to grab the attention of a significant portion of the market, raising their visibility to the level of the market leaders, but they will still fill that communication pipeline with the same phrases, same buzzwords, same claims, same features, same keywords as those leaders. The customers have only the option of price to differentiate.
How do you break the cycle?
First, find an uncrowded, interactive communication pipeline to grab attention. For example, everyone uses Youtube, or Vimeo or Brightcove to disseminate video, but all of the most used video platforms are crowded, minimally interactive, and filled with a lot of repetitive information. They deliver basic information about viewers, but very little, truly valuable information… like who the heck are these people and how can you contact them. There are technologies that will give you significant information about each viewer and their preferences; allow you to create a conversation with your most likely customer and find out what they need to know that sets you apart from the crowd, demonstrate your true value and minimize popularity and cost from the decision process.
Your customers don’t care about your technology and that you adhere to the same standards as everyone else. Knowing your technology doesn’t help them. What makes you different is that you solve their problem. Show that you actually understand their problem because you spent some time listening to them. When you find them, ask them questions. Get a clear idea what they are facing. Remember, everyone is different, so offering them a solution based on what you assume is everyone’s problem says you don’t think they are unique. In fact, they may not be, but you have to make them think they are. What comes out of that conversation will be a story that will resonate will many potential customers; customers who will say, “Hey, this company gets it. Let’s find out more.”
That is the AHA! moment you need, the thing that differentiates you and makes you into the rarest of all companies: The customer-focused company.
More to come.