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How to Make Your Small Business Unique

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

If you took high school physics you probably learned that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

Well, the same is true in business marketing.

No two companies can occupy the same perception in the customers mind at the same time.

We're not talking about a physical presence, but an image that comes into the customers mind when they think of your business.

If I were to ask 10 different customers where to find the lowest price , or highest quality or most selection for women's clothing I would get 10 different answers for each niche.

Each customer might have a different perception of what low price or highest quality is. But each customer will usually only have one answer per niche.

Here are some back niches a business can occupy. Is your business among them?

Low price/Low quality

If you have the lowest prices, you can talk quality all you want but, you're going to have an uphill climb to convince the customer.

We're suspicious of low prices. Does the phrase, "What's the catch." ring a bell?

There is nothing wrong with having competitive prices for comparable products.

Most businesses that profess to consistently have the lowest prices simply match competitors prices.

Many name brand products will not allow a company to sell their products below a certain price. They don't want to be perceived as cheap.

Top of the Line, Highest Price/Best Quality

Rolls Royce, Rolex. Top of the line products not only have a perception of high quality but can also be prestigious.

Also keep in mind high price can carry the perception that its overpriced. Does, "You pay more for the name.", ring a bell?

It's much easier to justify a higher price by pointing out the quality than trying to justify the lower price.

Do You Have a Large Selection?

Go to any big name department store, Tiffanys, Nordstroms, and compare the size of the women's clothing department to the men's clothing department.

The women's section is always three to four times larger than the men's. Why?

Women demand selection. It's fashion suicide for a woman to be caught at a social function wearing the same outfit as someone else.

Men really don't care if someone else has the same tie.

Do your customers demand selection? If so, how does your selection compare to your competition?

Keep in mind selection doesn't always mean inventory. One flower shop may carry exotic flowers while another shop doesn't.

The shop with the exotics has a larger selection with one flower than the shop that has none.

Is Service a "Buzz Word" for your Small Business?

Ask any major retail chain who has the best customer service and chances are they will say Nordstrom's.

They are the team to beat in retail customer service.

In small towns, family and small business can usually offer better individual customer service than national chains.

Friendly People to Wait on You?

Small businesses usually excel in this area. Large businesses have more restrictions and rules than small businesses.

Small businesses can get to know their customers by name. Workers in small businesses have more of a sense of ownership in their job then large faceless corporations.

Are You Convenient?

We hate to go out of the way to purchase things. We pick things up on the way home from work.

We shop, eat, buy gas where it's easiest. We seldom go out of our way to go to a specific business if another is more convenient. So, which of the six does your business coincide with?

I know what you're thinking, "We do all of the above." You can't occupy all the positions at the same time.

Only one position will be dominant in the minds of the customers. The question is which perception is your strongest?

You Don't Have A Choice

Unless you're a brand new business, your customers already have a perception of your business. It may be right or wrong but they have it.

The point is, if you don't do anything your customers will pigeon-hole you along with your competition.

You don't have a choice. They may not do it the way you want, but they will do it.

Doesn't it make more sense to find the strongest niche and promote it and establish your uniqueness with your customers?

Based in Bozeman, MT, Tom Egelhoff is the author of, “The Small-Town Advertising Handbook: How To Say More And Spend Less,” and "How to Market, Advertise and Promote Your Business or Service in Your Own Backyard." He is also a seminar and workshop presenter and trainer. He may be reached at 406-580-1104

Listen in on Tom's Saturday weekly radio show "Open For Business" on AM 1450 KMMS Radio, Bozeman. Have a business question for Tom? Click here to get Tom's advice for free.

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