This Simple Method Is Helping Businesses Double Their Profit
A PRACTICAL EXERCISE
Stop! Take two minutes to complete this exercise and see how much your offers are actually hurting your business.
After the exercise I will show why this is costing you and how to make changes fast in order to get increased benefits and a better customer or client base.
The first step in this exercise is to make a list of all your offerings. Any product and service that you provide to customers. It doesn’t matter if this is a free lead generator, an introductory offering, your core products/services or even more premium products and services that are provided less frequently. If you offer it, list it.
Done? Now go through and do the same for a couple of your competitors. List all the products or services they promote. Compile these onto a single list, if there are duplicates there is no need to write them down twice.
Pretty easy so far right!
The third step will take 30 seconds. Simply subtract any products or services from your list that also appear on the competitors list. Now you are left with a list of offerings that are completely unique to your business.
These are your differentiators, essentially offerings that ensure you have some degree of separation from competitors. Hold on we are not done yet!
The final step is to take your differentiators and ensure that they meet two requirements. Firstly we want to ensure they align with why your brand exists, we must ensure that these differentiators actually further our mission and the outcome we want to bring to the market. This is often referred to as your brand story, and you can read about creating one in the article ‘How Your Brand Have A Compelling Story’.
The second criteria is to ensure that it furthers your ability to showcase how your business is the only business that approaches its offerings in this specific way. You must honestly assess your differentiators to see if they are putting you into a category by yourself and not in with competitors. Are these differentiators actually helping you to stand out as unique or are they causing you to fit in and just in another generic business in your field.
The items on this list that have passed the two criteria now present you with the opportunity to brainstorm more offerings that both align with your brand and are different from the competition.
You must do this if you find your business in a position where you cannot charge based on value and instead are locked into industry standard pricing. The reason for this is obvious, if you offer industry standard products or services you will get paid industry standard prices. However, if you separate your offerings into something unique that cannot be compared with other businesses then your pricing cannot be compared either.
You go from attracting price-driven customers that view you as a commodity to attracting value-driven customers that are intrigued by your unique offerings and the methods that provide an outcome.
We see this most commonly in the health and fitness industry, specifically in gyms. If you offer a standard gym membership then you have backed yourself into a corner with no option but to offer standard prices. This is a great way of starting a race to the bottom, to destroy margins and be forced into providing a sub-optimal service.
Instead, when a gym stops and is able to assess what they can do differently but still provide their members with the same outcomes (fitter, stronger, looking better etc…) then they create offerings that are unique and can be priced accordingly. Then you have a win-win situation with results for both members and owners, amazing!
This exercise is essential for ensuring that your offerings are both different and good. Two key components in creating a brand that is recognisable and valuable to your customers.
“Today’s consumers have more choices than ever before. With so much competition, brands need a way to stand out and capture their audience’s attention. All a brand needs is one point of difference.” – don’t remember!
Done correctly and you will have shown that you are a real business leader. You will have avoided the common positioning violation of adding to your offerings, rather than subtracting. Subtracting offerings ensure that your business stays aligned between ‘what you say you do and what you actually do’ (Marty Neumeier). It takes discipline to avoid shiny objects that pull you away from the part of your brand that makes you unique.
Implement this and avoid the frustration of price-driven customers, start attracting customers, members and clients that appreciate your business for the value it brings. Simultaneously enjoy the benefits that come with being able to charge a premium and not be restricted to industry standards. Finally pass these benefits onto your customers, staff and yourself by using those large margins to provide more value, create better outcomes and make real change.