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Why you should differentiate your business.

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Recently I had lunch with the CEO of a Sharepoint reseller and we were talking about marketplace differentiation.

He said he heard a speaker proclaim that differentiation is dead.  “Commoditization” is the future.  And we all need to learn how to get better, faster and cheaper in order to survive- especially considering the fact that the internet provides so much information to buyers that it levels the playing field to a point that makes it impossible to compete on differentiation.  “Volume and efficiency will rule,” he added.

MarketSmart says… that guy is a nuts!

It’s actually quite the opposite.  Rather than competing in the arena of equality and mediocrity, we strongly recommend finding a way to be different.  For example, Cirque de Soleil didn’t find a way to make a cheaper circus.  They created an entirely new circus experience.  And their tickets sell for much more than a traditional circus.

I know everyone cannot reinvent the wheel as they did.  But suppose you are… hmm…  an accountant.  Let’s reinvent an accountant’s business on-the-fly (I literally just came up with this)…

Overnight Bookkeeping Inc.!-  We do the books while you sleep.

Small business owners who need bookkeeping services don’t want to talk to a bookkeeper while the phones are ringing during normal business hours.  So wouldn’t a bookkeeper who works at night make sense?

“Call us anytime, day or night.”

Differentiation still works!

Here are a couple of firms for whom we recently created differentiation strategies.

Long Fence and Home logo

1- Long Fence and Home (Home improvements)- We carved out a niche that made them more than just a home improvement company.  They don’t just give you a kitchen.  They don’t just repair your siding.  They don’t just replace your windows.   …They improve your life.

A new kitchen brings the family together.  New siding makes your home look newer and makes you feel proud to drive home.  New windows reduce energy costs.  All home improvements increase resale value.  All home improvements improve your life.

Home improvements are life improvements.  So the slogan we carved out for them is “Improve your home. Improve your life.”  And all the web pages, sales materials and blog information supports that mission and directive.

2- Catapult (Business consulting)-  we renamed the firm, repositioned their core strategy, designed a new logo and wrote a new slogan for them.

This firm wasn’t just about business consulting.  They help businesses make sense of their chaos.  Plus they run events that help CEO’s connect with each other.

So here’s the name we conceived: Catapult Connections. The slogan: Business Clarity and Relationships for Growth.

Why act like just another business consulting firm when you’re not?  Find your key differences.  Carve out your niche.  And ignore the bozo that said “Commoditization is the future.”

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