Here’s a provocative marketing idea: ignore what your competitors are doing.
Or, better yet, pay close attention – and then do the opposite.
The number one rule of marketing is to stand out.
So if you want to succeed at marketing, you need to constantly establish points of difference for your small business.
If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, chances are you’ll accidentally take a different approach. Or if you study your rivals and then do the opposite, you’ll deliberately take a different approach.
Either way, you’ll stand out.
Here are some examples of how to market yourself in a different way:
- If your rivals boast about having lower prices, you could boast about having higher prices
- If your rivals use serious marketing, you could use humorous marketing
- If your rivals print rectangular business cards, you could print triangular business cards
Feeling uncomfortable right now? Don’t worry: you’re not alone.
Most people hate being different, because it feels safe to be part of a pack and threatening to be isolated. That’s why most small businesses model their marketing on their rivals’ marketing.
- “They’re talking about lower prices. So that must be the right approach. So we’ll do it too.”
- “What if we try to be funny and we’re not? So we’ll be serious too.”
- “If triangular business cards worked, wouldn’t everyone use them? So we’ll go rectangular too.”
But if you look and sound the same as your rivals, how will customers tell you apart? And if they can’t tell you apart, why would customers choose you over them?
That’s why standing out isn’t the risky option; it’s the safe option.