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Thread: Why Should Someone Choose You Over The Competition

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    I'm not sure why all the focus on the word uniqueness. I think that was used solely as a means to an end and not the end itself. I don't think the article was trying to say be unique or you won't succeed. I think it's saying you can look at yourself and see where you are unique as a way to answer the question why should someone choose you.

    Answering that question is what this thread is all about. One way to do that is to look for what makes you unique and then apply it to narrowing your market and finding something to differentiate you from your competition.

    I think by being high end huggy absolutely differentiates himself from all those plumbers who aren't high end and who work solely on price. That leads him to different customers and different marketing. Does it make him absolutely unique from all other plumbers? Of course not. But it does differentiate him from many of his competitors.

    His using higher end parts and charging what he does is the thing that allows his market to identify him from the schlock.
    How is that not differentiating himself from the schlocks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    I'm not sure why all the focus on the word uniqueness. I think that was used solely as a means to an end and not the end itself. I don't think the article was trying to say be unique or you won't succeed. I think it's saying you can look at yourself and see where you are unique as a way to answer the question why should someone choose you.

    Answering that question is what this thread is all about. One way to do that is to look for what makes you unique and then apply it to narrowing your market and finding something to differentiate you from your competition.

    I think by being high end huggy absolutely differentiates himself from all those plumbers who aren't high end and who work solely on price. That leads him to different customers and different marketing. Does it make him absolutely unique from all other plumbers? Of course not. But it does differentiate him from many of his competitors.

    His using higher end parts and charging what he does is the thing that allows his market to identify him from the schlock.
    How is that not differentiating himself from the schlocks?
    It is differentiating. But I think that's more market segment and "where one fits" than something special about the business. I think the real difference, that thing people should strive for, is the comparison within that segment.

    I guess I'm looking at it more on a micro / individual level than a macro level - I take the word "competitor" and look at it in a more apples to apples way. First find where you fit and make sure you are positioned there (which is more of what you are talking about), then seperate yourself from THAT competition (because that's your real competition.)
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    I have a feeling we're agreeing on this, but disagreeing over semantics. I think the something special about the business is the sam thing as the where one fits in the market. I'm seeing the two as the same.

    For example you're in the widgets industry and everyone sells blue widgets or red widgets. Nothing but those two colors. You realize people sell green widgets and so decide you'll sell green widgets. In fact at first you only sell green widgets and not red or blue. Now everyone who had been wanting a green widget becomes your customer.

    You grab a segment of the market by differentiating your business from your competition. Later when you've built a brand you might start offering red and blue widgets or maybe create a line of yellow and orange widgets. The idea though is you were able to break into the widget industry not by competing directly with the existing brands, but by differentiating your business from the existing brands and finding a gap in the market that wasn't being served.

    I think that's what the article is about. The answer to why choose your widgets is because you sell green ones when no one else does. That makes you unique and it differentiates you from the competition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    The answer to why choose your widgets is because you sell green ones when no one else does. That makes you unique and it differentiates you from the competition.
    Yea, here's how I'm looking at it - If you sell green ones, and nobody else does, then you have no competition. When somebody else comes along and sells green ones, then you need to differentiate yourself from them. That where the uniqueness comes in.

    I like looking at it that way better, because very few businesses can truly be unique from the beginning. Someone else is almost certainly selling green widgets.

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    Geez, we're up late
    And you're 2 hours ahead of me. I wasn't sure if we were both still up late last night or I was still up last night and you were up early this morning.

    very few businesses can truly be unique from the beginning
    I'd agree and I do think if you're entering an industry you have to do quite a lot of what is already being done to play a bit of catch up. To me this whole thing keeps coming down to answering the question of why should someone specifically choose you over the competition. Once you're in a crowded industry, which is going to be the case for most of us, you have to find some way to get people to think you offer more or something different from the others in your space. If everyone's the same then the customer's choice really will come down to chance. Or at least you're leaving their choice up to something random.

    What I think most businesses need to do is identify things in the market that aren't currently being served and then offer those things in some fashion. If your industry has a reputation for lousy customer service then put a lot into a great customer service experience. Answer the phone quickly, respond to email promptly, live by the idea that the customer is always right and bend over backwards to please him or her. If everyone in your industry offers great customer service then you need to as well, but know it really won't be a selling point.

    I think for many it's hard to identify those gaps in the market, which is where the article that started this thread comes in. I think we are all different and we're all unique. Just by being in business we're going to be different from our competition, because we'll never do things exactly the same way they do. But how many of us are aware of how we're different and how many of us realize those differences are exactly what some people are looking for when making a buying decision? I think the idea behind this article is to find what makes you different and unique and again realize there is probably a segment of your market that would choose you if they knew about your difference and uniqueness. So if you can figure out where your uniqueness meets market demand you want to highlight it and refine your business to be more appealing to parts of your market.

    Offering more to a smaller group of people will ultimately lead to more business than offering the same to everyone. Unless you have the money to build a brand that extends far and wide you need to offer something the others don't. And I think one way to find what that something extra is, is to see where you are different and emphasize that difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    ...for many it's hard to identify those gaps in the market...
    I think this is the whole point. The idea of being unique or being somehow (anyhow?) different from others is misleading. It doesn't really answer the question.

    Extolling newcomers to "be unique" or advertise how they are different, has neophyte business owners doing silly things or identifying irrelevant facts. The effort needs to be put into finding the unfulfilled gaps in the marketplace and filling them. Find a need and satisfy it, has always been a basis for business.

    That's how you set yourself apart. That is how you gain a foothold and grow your business. Finding a need and satisfying it.

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    Again I don't think the point was to be unique for the sake of being unique. The point was to answer the question why should someone choose you over the competition. That's not always easy to answer. This article attempted to help people answer it by looking at where they are unique as a starting point. At least that was my interpretation. That's certainly one way to begin answering the question.

    I realize the article uses the word unique a lot and as I've mentioned several times already it probably isn't the best choice of words. I think the idea is more to differentiate yourself from your competition in some way so that there is a real choice between you.

    All good advice can lead people astray and be misleading. Some, if not most, of the responsibility for staying on course lies in the person receiving and applying or rejecting the advice.

    If you're in an industry without a lot of competition then simply being in the industry might be enough to get you business. Demand for your services might be more than the supply of businesses offering those services. Most of us, though are in industries where there is a great amount of competition. Supply is more than demand. Unless you already have a strong market position and a fairly well known brand you're not going to be the choice for most people looking for your services unless you can show why you offer something your competition doesn't.

    I think that's where the uniqueness idea comes in. And again I don't think it's about being unique for the sake of being unique. It's about finding what you can offer as a business that your competition can't or doesn't. It's the same thing as why businesses will usually look for a niche within the industry once the industry starts to get crowded. You won't stand out in a crowded space by being the same as everyone else. Maybe if you have enough money to market your business more than the rest, but that really isn't going to be the case with small businesses.
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