Point of Difference

Graceful growth requires a Point of Difference

Statements of the very, very obvious!

It is easy to sell products or services when the offer is:

1)      Wanted and needed by the customers.
2)      Wanted and needed by the customers at the time of the sale or offer.
3)      Considered value by the customer.
4)      The customer has the available funds to buy.
5)      The product is unique or can be demonstrated to be different.

It is hard or impossible to sell when the product or service is:

1)      Not needed and only sometimes wanted.
2)      Seen as expensive and difficult to afford.
3)      The same as numerous other offers out there.

Business leaders and all business plans focus in hard on price, cost and the size of the available market, very few people set out to sell snow to the Eskimos!

Very, very few deal successfully with the last issue of creating a product that is either unique or noticeably and sustainably different!

Pricing issues with a Point of Difference

Many set out to make their offer the lowest cost, but with no idea of designing a system that delivers such low pricing, consigning themselves to a model of financial under-performance.

Many more do not set out with a low price mentality, but find themselves irresistibly drawn in that direction as they seek to compete in the market.

The list of compensating factors is endless, high level sales techniques, great personality salesmen, extremely generous customer hospitality, flashy and heavily advertised sales but why not just put effort and thought into making your product truly unique or different; create a point of difference!

If you can’t do it then why bother making life hard for yourself and staying or launching into that market? Usually, it is because people and businesses stay in their comfort zone, however poor the result that has traditionally delivered.

Creating a point of difference or uniqueness for your service or offer does not necessarily make it more expensive, its important at every level of the market.

Yes, sometimes points of difference are sometimes used to create premium market positions and when this happens the points of difference are usually layered on top of one another.

Case Studies

Take the luxury world of Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, yes they have a Brand, the product is designed to be visually more attractive, the technology is claimed to be patented and deliver superior hydrotherapy. They are claimed to be the most energy efficient on the market. Warranties and guarantees are industry leading and they are only sold via acknowledged product specialists. One might argue that the plethora of points of difference suggests a lack of confidence in any single one but there is no doubting they have created a premium offer that dominates an unusually high percentage of the market for a top end product offer.

Why? Because the points of difference make the product easy to sell and with that comes their dominance of the specialist sales channel.

Contrast this with Tupperware! They make “plastic boxes”, admittedly very attractive boxes, in innovative shapes with supposedly innovative ways of keeping them airtight – really! If ever there was a product sector destined to be a race to the bottom of the price curve it was this. Their point of difference and their uniqueness was provided through the very act of purchase itself. They made the consumer want to buy, they made the product the only one available, they made the imperative to purchase there and then by making the act of purchase a social and profit sharing experience in the famous Tupperware parties. They made a commodity product easy to sell by wrapping it in a great night out that was cost free to the company.

The ultimate point of difference has been created by electronic book readers, tablets, Kindles call them what you will. Yes they have taken massive share from the printed word, but they have increased the number of books bought and grown the market for the written word beyond all expectations. To a degree this defies logic, do people have any more time to read just because the book is in electronic form, do people have more money to buy books just because they are no longer printed? No; the key to this phenomenon is that the point of purchase has been taken directly to the very point in time that the customer is ready and willing to buy, the purchase has been made available at the very time the customer is time rich and potentially bored. The sell is easy because there is no competition for the customer’s time and nothing else for the customer to spend their money on. The insomniac who buys a book in the middle of the night in preference to fighting for sleep, is the ultimate in additional sales.

Creating a point of difference or uniqueness for your service or product does not necessarily make it more expensive.  Seek expert help from marketing consultants or mentors who can see the woods AND the trees and CAN help you find a substantive position.

Thought on a point of difference from Yorkshire Powerhouse

Have you any questions?

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