Every business wants to be special. Being special in the mind of your audience means they prefer you to other alternatives and value your products and services more highly. Shoppers are naturally attracted to businesses that are special.
The idea of specialness can seem vague. How do you know your business is special? How can you intentionally create specialness?
Three Factors Create Specialness
- Differentiation – what are the features and attributes that make your business dramatically different and better versus your competition? Differentiation can only be defined in relation to your competition. Your business may have some wonderful capabilities but if your competitors possess them as well they are not different. As an example, a large inventory selection may be important to your customers, but if every other competitor has a similar size inventory it is not a point of differentiation. For more in-depth information on differentiation see our recent post.
- Relevance – think of relevance as the degree to which a product or service solves a problem or satisfies a need. If your differentiated features don’t satisfy needs or solve problems for a significant customer group those features are not contributing to the specialness of your organization. As an example, being family owned may differentiate your business but is that relevant to a large group of customers?
- Familiarity – You can’t be anonymous and special. Familiarity means your customers are not merely aware of your business but have knowledge of how they may be affected in a positive way. Awareness means I’ve heard of you. Familiarity means I know enough to buy. Craft your communications to bring a deeper understanding of those attributes that truly set you apart.
Finals thoughts: If you aren’t different customers won’t pay a premium. If you aren’t relevant they won’t care. If you aren’t familiar they won’t understand you well enough to buy.