One of my early clients was a struggling sports memorabilia business. He had tried just about everything to get into the ball parks and sport shops of NFL and MLB sports teams and had a very expensive licensing agreement with both the NFL and MLB which allowed him to put the name of any sports star on signs that he manufactured but that also drove his costs of doing business extremely high. He was at the point where he was considering quitting his business because these licenses were such a huge expense he didn’t feel he could stay in business any longer. These signs were like any street sign you’d see on any street corner in America. There in lied his advantage. The difference was of course the name of the street – Barry Bonds Drive, Bret Favre Way for example would have been names he created and placed on the signs. While his competitors could do the same thing, none of them were creating signs with the authentic material of street signs but were using plastic to reduce their costs.
Part of his problem was his business name. He had started this business from within the walls of his mother’s gift stores which he now owned but used the name for his sign producing business as Doris Collectibles as well. He complained to me of the difficulty of getting past the gate keepers in these major league sport shops as well as the difficulty in differentiating his business from the mass of opportunities these sport shops had to choose from.
In the process of creating his positioning statement, by utilizing the positioning statement template he was able to develop a differentiating message that not only got him past the gate keepers, but provided a clear difference with his competitors, got him appointments and eventually increased his revenues over four times what he had achieved the previous year.
We also changed his name to Authentic Sport Signs and this along with creating a Unique Selling Proposition, or Promise provided him with the ability to differentiate his business from the many competitors he was battling with in the marketplace.
Imagine what differentiating your business from your competitors could do for you? Would increasing your revenues four times make a difference in your business and your life?
Positioning is just one of the steps toward discovering how you are different from your competition and translating that into a positioning statement and USP. You need to determine who your target market, or most probable customer is, discover what your trading market is [if your business geographic status is important to getting customers], determine the psychographic mode of your customers [Why they buy.] on the journey to developing your position.
The positioning statement template begs you to determine what word or words you would like to own in your market. What are you known for, or what would you like to be known for with your prospects and customers? What frustration do your prospects and customers have when it comes to purchasing your product or service? Finally by knowing what their frustrations are provide a solution to overcome that frustration. In many cases this might be only a small segment of the market, but it is the part that your business does best.
For my client the sports memorabilia business, his business provided a product that had a perceived value much higher than his competition due to the material he made it from. Sports fans and the store owners had difficulty determining how valuable and durable a product would be. With Authentic Sport Signs the minute they picked up his product and felt its sturdiness and weight they knew it was a better value.
That’s what he related to his prospects in his positioning statement. He used it to open doors that increased his business revenues over four times the previous year’s business in just one season.
Is your business positioned favorably to differentiate it from your competition? Could you clarify it and in doing so increase your revenue? Do your own staff members even know what differentiates your business from your competitors? If not this is a crucial area that not only demands your attention now, but may be the single most important decision that determines how long you can stay in business in the future.
Don’t take chances that your prospects, customers and even your employees know your position. Determine how you want to be differentiated, market it, and realize the value of it.
We’re confident that the tools and methods we have from my ten years of coaching and 25 plus years in the advertising field can help you make a difference with your business. If you have concerns with differentiating and positioning your business contact us for help.