We’ve often talked about differentiation.  It is the key to your marketing strategy.  Without some clear difference between you and your competition, the default is for prospective customers to compare the two of you on what?


And that’s an awful place to compete.  John Jantsch, creator of Duct Tape Marketing, has long said, “don’t compete on price because there’s always someone willing to go out of business before you.”  Trimming 5% here and $10 off there will possible attract a transaction but often result in you being nothing but a no-profit organization.

You can differentiate based on these 3 things:

  • Values – environmental values may appeal to certain demographics, so AUTHENTICALLY promote how you share their values; Christian consumers are often drawn to businesses who share their faith background, so AUTHENTICALLY let your customers know what’s important to you
  • Product – be the only guy in town with a certain line of products, the only estate planning lawyer with a unique process of dealing with clients, be the only place in town to find a particular service (foe example, currently, I am the only Duct Tape Marketing authorized consultant in all of DFW and North Texas and West Texas.
  • Experience – play to the senses and let people hear, see, smell, touch and taste what you have to offer.  If your clientele demographic most likely prefers country music, don’t play elevator music in your store.  If your customers are male, stick to the plain Lava soap in the restrooms and toss out the pomegranate mango stuff.   If you cater to women, how ’bout cleaning the restrooms!  If you are a non-retail business, perhaps hosting a webinar online or a free strategic partner workshop might offer potential clients a way to “experience” your expertise before they buy.

John Jantsch also shares a great article on this topic of the third area of differentiation, “How to Deliver an Experience.”  Great case study on how to impress a marketing guru!