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The Purple Egg
6 Ways to stand out from the crowd
By Stacey L. Friedlein, Photog.,Cr, PPA-ABI, CBM, PPANI-S
Creating an identity for your business is essential to helping your potential clients understand who you are and what you have to offer. In marketing vernacular it is called creating a USP or Unique Selling Proposition. The marketplace is overcrowded and noisy making it essential for your business to find ways to rise above and be heard.
1. Know your market. There is gold in them there hills if you know where to find it. Before you can begin marketing you need to know your target customer, where they are and how to effectively reach them. To determine your target customer think about the product or service you are offering and who can use it. Now research to see if there is enough of a demographic base in your market area to support the product or service you are offering. As an example, if you are promoting children’s photography your clients might include new parents and grandparents. How many children in the age range you wish to photograph are in your market area, how many grandparents? How many births per year and what is the income bracket of those targeted. Are there enough families in your desired income level to support this market? What are their current buying habits? Who else is in the market, how are they attracting customers, what is their reputation, price level, their targeted demographic? Knowledge is power and this is the kind of power which can bring you success.
2. Dare to be different. Be a Purple Egg. Imagine you buy a dozen eggs and get home and find eleven white eggs and a single purple egg. Which egg would draw your attention? The purple one of course! So you want to be the “purple egg”. This is done by understanding what is happening in your market place, knowing what the competition is doing and doing something else. Preferably something opposite of what they are doing. Creating uniqueness in your marketing creates attention and interest from your target market.
3. Find an underserved niche. Be where they are not. The easiest thing you can do is what everyone else is doing it is also the worst thing you can do. As you look to grow or expand your business you should look for areas which are not getting a lot of attention from your competitors. It is much easier to develop business in a market where you are one of a few or the only player. Find out where there are opportunities in your market which are not being served adequately or which are being overlooked completely. Utilize the steps outlined above to analyze them to see if they are feasible and if there is money to be made by creating products and services to fill the need.
4. Exploit your uniqueness. You are the business of choice. Tell your clients why. Tell your clients why you are different. What is it about your differences which make you the choice for them? In creating an identity for your business which reflects you and your business you help build an expectation for your client. If you can’t figure out your identity create it or make it up. There is an old saying which goes, “fake it ‘til you make it”. Define yourself, make it unique, memorable and tell your clients why your difference is important to them. Your differences are a big part of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Use them to your full advantage.
5. Market against your competition, mount a counter offensive. Use your competitors marketing efforts to your advantage. Find the types of marketing they are doing, the kind of promotions they are running and do the something different. When you have several businesses competing for the same market it becomes that much more important to create a unique marketing approach. Some ideas would include offering bonuses if they are offering discounts, bundling items if they are selling a la carte, or offer delivery and pickup services, or sell in person if they are selling online.
6. Do the unexpected. Make your clients experience memorable. Going the extra mile for your client is always good business. Create an unforgettable experience for your client. Maintain excellent customer service from your initial contact through delivery of their purchase. Remember to follow-up with your client after the sale. Send them a hand written thank you note. This shows you are interested in more than just getting their money. It is also a great opportunity to ask for referrals. Exceptional customer service is maybe the most important thing you can do to assure a happy client and happy clients are clients for life.
In a crowded and competitive market place you have to create an identity which will capture the attention of your prospective customers. Utilize the steps above to make your business the “PurpleEgg”. If you need further assistance feel free to contact me at Stacey@itsc123.com or visit us on the web at itsc123.com.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
Profitability, “The state or condition of yielding a financial profit or gain. It is often measured by price to earnings ratio.” This definition comes from businessdictionary.com. When you break the word down you have ‘profit’ and ‘ability, your business’s ‘ability’ to make a ‘profit’.
What does profitability mean to you? What is should mean is that you are able to conduct your business in such a way that you cover your expenses, cost of goods sold and after you pay yourself you still have money left to reinvest in your business. Sound complicated, confusing, impossible maybe! Maybe you just don’t care. In which case you can stop reading now and go on to doing something else.
Now, if you are still reading you must be interested in finding ways to improve your business’s profitability.
- What are your costs of goods sold, your general expenses, what are your ratios for cost of goods against sales, or expenses against sales?
- What should they be?
- How do you get them to where they should be? Are you paying yourself? Should you be?
- Are there expense leaks? How do you stop cash from leaking out?
- Paying yourself? How much? Are you making a living?
- Is your pricing appropriate for your business, your quality, your desired growth?
- Who is your client? What are their expectations? Are you priced to attract your target demographic?
- What goals do you have for your financial future and that of your business?
- How do you assure profitability? And the list goes on…
Scared, frustrated, confused, lost, all of the above? The good news is there is help for you. We have more than thirty-five years of experience in creating profitable, custom price lists for businesses just like yours. We will begin by addressing many of the questions listed above and then help you create a pricing model which will be appropriate for your business and your future goals.
And we won’t leave you there. We will consult with you once a quarter for one year after the initial pricing structure is complete to assure what we have created with you is right for you and your business. If necessary we will make modifications along the way to help you reach your financial goals.
Call before May 1st and save 30% on these services!
Find us on the web at itsc123.com