I don’t care what you sell or where you are geographically, at some level and probably at many levels, your clients and prospects view your business as a commodity.
By that I mean that they can find and buy your products and services from many other vendors and receive:
- Pretty much the same value
- Pretty much the same quality
- Pretty much the same selection
- Pretty much the same service
- Pretty much the same convenience
- Pretty much the same friendliness
So, if your current customers can easily replace you with other vendors, what have you done or what are you doing or what should you be doing to make your business special to them?
I’ve asked this question of many businesspeople, and the answers I get in response are telling. Few have any real answers because, I think in their minds, they don’t think of their businesses, products, or services as commodities. They think they are special. But few can state, in one statement, a viable strategy that separates and elevates them from their competitors.
Business owners, executives and managers should be constantly asking themselves and those they work with one question: “What can we be doing to make our business special and stand out from our competitors so they can’t easily replace us?”
Every business has some unique attributes they can use to make themselves special and irreplaceable. It might be a lower cost structure, which can translate into better value or lower cost to the customers. It might be better quality control so there are fewer errors or more durability. It might be far greater selection so customers have a better chance of finding what they want or need. It might be some ways of knowing the customer better and being able to understand their needs, sometimes before they know they have needs.
You might feel or even know your business is special, but unless your clients know your “specialness” they will think of you as an easily replaceable commodity. Do it is well worth your effort to strategize and de-commoditize.