How Unique Can You Get?

June 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Marketing 

I have been advised by marketing gurus a lot of times and often I would hear this advice: “Be different”. The advice is always geared at being able to catch the attention of prospective clients. The idea is a basic one – one that will get the attention of customers or clients in a crowded marketplace. Your products or services must stand out in some way. The idea is to make prospectors distinguish your product or service from the competition.

There is no doubt that this is a sound advice because it will make you or your products and services stand out. But how different should you be?

A business executive once related to me his experience with this advice. This executive noticed that there were no brochure printing ads for their product. “What an interesting opportunity,” he thought, “to make my business stand out to prospective clients.” He spent over $500 on brochures but the result was not a single phone call.

What he had neglected to ask his marketing guys is how they distributed the brochures. It turns out that his marketing guys wanted to be so unique that they inserted the print brochures in a magazine that no one among his target market is reading.

Sometimes you can be too unique for your own good. There is a lot in sales and marketing that is tried and true. If you decide to forge a completely new trail, you may be attempting an experiment that many others in your field have already tried with no success.

It is not always just your marketing techniques that are a little too different. The same problem can afflict the product or service you are marketing.

Being noticeably different from the competition can help you attract customers and close sales. But overdoing it without proper research may not be advantageous at all. In the example above, your target market should have been carefully considered. Before embarking on a ‘unique’ distribution strategy, it would have been necessary to understand how this particular market segment behaved. A simple study would have revealed that this market segment did not read or purchase the magazine that would have delivered the brochures.

Creating the perception that your product or service is one of a kind can help you capture people’s attention and make them remember you. But you have to be able to identify the people you want to reach out to, and communicate how you can be of service in words they can understand.

Definitely look for a unique way to express the benefits you offer to your clients; but make sure it still communicates what you actually do. It is okay to get creative with your marketing; but do not bet the rent money on untried techniques.

If you really want to make your marketing more effective, cheaper and less stressful, stop re-inventing the wheel. Find models that work and replicate them. I am not suggesting that you plagiarize your competitors’ marketing copy, but when you see someone successful in your field, find out what they are doing right, and follow their lead.

Do not let your business be a victim of “terminal uniqueness” — the belief that you are so different from anyone else that none of the rules apply to you. Being distinctive is good; being eccentric can be unwise.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit: Brochure Printing

Janice Jenkins is a writer for a marketing company in Chicago, IL. Mostly into marketing research, Janice started writing articles early 2007 to impart her knowledge to individuals new to the marketing industry.

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