MP900227579It’s a tough market out there, question is: what are you going to do about it? How can you make sure that customers see the value of what you provide? What makes you remarkable? In today’s marketplace, if you are not remarkable you are invisible.

Years ago I read a book called, The Purple Cow by Seth Godin. It’s about transforming your business by being remarkable. I highly recommend it. It encourages you to rethink your products and services with distinction marketing in mind, not extinction marketing. So what really sets you above the rest?

It is a time for making real changes that will make a real impact. I met with a firm today and I did my homework before the meeting. I searched Their Web Site, Facebook and LinkedIn. The Web Site was generic, there was no Facebook presence and only one person in the company had a LinkedIn site with no activity. Their market is 55 and over and as far as I could tell there was no indication of local ties or connections. Had I been seeking their services I would have passed them by. Nothing stood out, nothing spoke to me.

During the meeting I shared this news. I was met with a defiant “But we differ from company X, Y and Z in many important areas”.  It was good information, informative and impactful however, they didn’t market that capability anywhere online. What they did at the meeting was show me their purple cow. That something special that makes them unique, that thing that sets them above the rest in their field, their competitive advantage.

A competitive advantage is “the ability gained through attributes and resources to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry or market.”

Here are Expert Tips for finding your Competitive Advantage

Find opportunities to be more valuable – “We look for opportunities where we can offer something better, fresher and more valuable and we seize them. We often move areas where the customer received a poor deal and where the competition is complacent and with our growing e-commerce activities, we also look to deliver old products in new ways.” – Richard Branson

 Be remarkable – “The old rule was to create safe, ordinary products or services and combine them with great marketing. But, things have changed. Now, the idea is to “create remarkable products that the right people seek out.”- Seth Godin

Remember you can’t be everything to everyone – “Don’t try to be all things to all people. Concentrate on selling something unique that you know there is a need for, offer competitive pricing and good customer service.” –Lilian Vernon

Three important C’s – Choices, Chances and Change –  “Your greatest and most powerful business survival strategy is going to be the speed at which you handle the speed of change.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

Never let price be your competitive advantage – “We brought prices down, down, down so they are now essentially commodities. So if we want to succeed in this business, we have to move in a direction of adding other value to the relationship with our clients. And so where I might have said 15 years ago, ‘We want to be the best discount brokerage,’ today I want to be the best ‘relationship company’ in financial services.” – Charles Schwab

Don’t set your focus on competitors – “Every once in awhile, a company becomes so obsessed with a competitor that it loses focus on its own customers. They start designing and positioning their products more to hurt rivals than thrill users.” – Mike Elgan

The dynamics of marketing are changing rapidly. The avenue in which information is shared with Social Media is staggering. It’s time to stop advertising and start innovating.  Alternate approaches aren’t a novelty, they are a necessity. What is your Purple Cow? More importantly how will you promote it? It’s time set your Purple Cow free!

Penny Jones, is a blogger and social media content writer at WebWorld Advantage. WebWorld Advantage, is a company dedicated to innovation in Social Media, Email Marketing, Marketing Consulting, Training and Education in Livingston County, serving Southeast Michigan and beyond.