The Most Important Two Rules!
How are you different? How are you relevant? If you're not working on those two things every day, you risk becoming a commodity.
In order to succeed today, you must be remarkable. Seth Godin said we must become a Purple Cow to stand out from the herd of sameness that surrounds us. This is especially true in our promotional products industry where we sell the same product from the same suppliers to the same customers in the same colors using the same websites and marketing tools.
Meet with your entire staff and make this your challenge. Come up with 5 ways in which you and your company are completely different than anything your clients have ever seen in the marketplace.
Scott McCain tells the story of a taxi driver who never has to wait in long lines to pick up the next fare. His day is reserved, often in full in advance. His cab is immaculately clean inside and out. When you get in, you'll find a selection of newspapers and magazines. Taxi Terry will introduce himself and ask if you would care for a beverage and provide you with coffee, water or a soft drink. He'll ask what type of music or radio station you prefer. He'll ask if you prefer conversation or a quiet ride. He has a website where you can get your receipt and make a reservation. He makes more money than other cab drivers because he is different than anything else you will ever see in the marketplace.
Be Different. Be Real. Be Remarkable.
The other skill you need is to be more relevant to the needs of your customers. Starbucks did it by coming up with 84,000 different ways to make a cup of coffee so that you can have it exactly like you want it. Disney did it by morphing from cartoon to feature film to television to theme parks to cruise ships while maintaining "magic" and creating memories for families in the most relevant way.
Remember when Hertz was the number one car rental company and Avis was number two? What was Avis' advertising campaign? (We're #2, We Try Harder). Does anyone know what car rental company is now #1? Enterprise came on to the scene and decided to be more relevant to the needs of car renters. Instead of expensive airport real estate, they decided that they would "pick you up." Instead of a complicated and confusing price structure, they simplified it. They looked deeper into who needs to rent cars and did business development around insurance companies and body shops, too. They dug deeply into the needs of customers and built their company around that instead of competing with Avis and Hertz on their terms.
Find out how to reinvent your company so that you can become indispensable to your clients. You will find that you have now taken price out of the equation. Your customers will be buying your unique experience—something they can get nowhere else.