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According to the picture one may make your business uniquesay this is about something like milka chocolate or cows, it is not. It’s about the need for making your business unique, because as someone said, nobody notices the boring white cow anymore.

Years ago, before television ruled the world of advertisement,  marketing wasn’t such a big thing. Companies focused on making commodities – they wanted to do things that people needed.So if there was a particular need that your product or service could answer, and if it was fair priced with a distribution that could reach the target, your business would grow by itself.

“Consumers bought stuff they needed and those with a skill made money providing for their customer’s needs” in All marketers tell stories

Then television became a major thing, companies started investing a lot on commercials and magazine adds. You had less than a minute to tell a story about your product and pointing its benefits. For the first time, instead of satisfying a need, companies started creating something consumers wanted, not needed.

It was the era of mass market, all consumers were alike and you could sell anything to everyone. Brands started to tell stories, products with reasonable ads made money.

mass market

“The desire to do what the people we admire are doing is the glue that keeps our society together. It’s the secret ingredient in every successful marketing venture as well.” By Seth Godin

Consumers started to have more and more products available, and the purchasing choice became a major concern every company  needed do address, specially the business to consumer ones. Companies understood that they had to attract the consumers to their products, making that decision for them.

The issues became different, with the online retailing you have access to everything at the best possible price. So if you are going to start a traditional business, you should have a better reason than a market need, you should be thinking about creating a need.

Is this the end of retail business as we know it, and the future is all about online? The answer is No. The reason is because we are humans, and online purchases give us no special emotion, does not deliver the satisfaction that entering an Apple or Victoria Secret store does. Now more than ever offline businesses need to be remarkable. Everyone should exit a store feeling better than when they arrived, and if you are able to do so, most likely you will have a great business.

marketing apple

As my first job, I worked at a restaurant which is quite famous in Lisbon mostly due to its tropical environment. The owner once said to me “ Pedro, people don’t come here because of the food, they come here because of the experience  the restaurant provides to them”.

So stop arguing about price points, rentals, locations for your future business, or any other commodity-focused issues, because someone will probably out-do you. Instead you should be thinking about delivering a unique selling proposition – USP based on  a remarkable story to your costumers, that’s authentic, that they will talk about, and will create a remarkable value to your product.

 “Value is different than price” Steve Jobs

Therefore price shouldn’t be the major focus of your message or the basis of a company’s marketing, decreasing a price is telling the consumers you weren’t worth as much as you thought you were. If you don’t have high expectations for your product consumers can and will pick up on that, so instead you should work extra hard to meet that initial valuation.

Take for example the car industry, You can purchase a Lamborghini for about 200.000€, but you only need 20.000€ to buy a Volkswagen Gold, so is the first one worth 10 times more than the second? For some people the Lamborghini tells a great story they can relate so for them it is, it doesn’t matter how much it costs to make.\

The thing about stories is that they need to be authentic, just like authentic people tend to be more likable, the same happens with brands. Consumers can understand when the story brands are telling is not for real, mostly because the details are not matching.

 “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time” Abraham Lincoln

Books you should be reading:

  • The tipping point – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Marketing Outrageously – Jon Spoelstra
  • All Marketers tell stories – Seth Godin
  • Founders at work – Jessica Livingston.
  • Positioning – Al Ries and Jack Trout




Image source:

Pedro Pimentel

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