Marketing, a major component of your business; with the customer at its core, it is used to identify, satisfy and keep your customers. When you’re in business, you’re always looking to attract new clients and prospects as they play an integral part of your Marketing.
Therefore, it is crucial that you market on a regular basis, in a good or bad economy, if you’ve just started or have been in business for years, you should work at your Marketing Strategies to attract customers at all times.
One great and essential way to practically guarantee your marketing is successful. Notice I said “practically”, though, as there are no true guarantees when it comes to success. But, if you did nothing but master this one thing you almost can’t help but be successful. Anyway what I’m blabbing on about here is “Positioning”. Sounds kind of simple, doesn’t it? It’s anything but simple and for businesses who have it, they can pretty much write their own ticket.
Let me ask you a question. When I say “search engine”, what comes to mind? What about “soda pop”? Chances are (this is not the case for everyone but will be the case for almost everyone) the first things that came to mind with the above terms is Google and Coca-Cola. In other words, these days you don’t say “check it out in the search engines”, you say “Google it!” Many people don’t say “soda” they say “get me a Coke.”
So what does this all mean exactly?
It means these companies, whether their product or service is the best or not; have top Positioning. Just like that box of cereal that’s eye level in the grocery store, they will get sales and will continue to get sales even if they’re not the best cereal, highest quality or very good. They are in front of that moving parade in the market that must go through them before seeing any competition. That, in a nutshell, is the power of positioning.
Without Positioning you’re basically invisible.. But with positioning you are King!
Here’s some very simple and fast ways to do it:
There’s a lot of power in specialization. And yet, it’s something we all resist because we tend to think if we’re not trying to be all things to all people we’ll miss out. But the truth is… that isn’t the truth! By specializing in something, you automatically get top of mind status in whatever it is you do, and can command a lot higher fees, prices, etc… Plus, certain customers will naturally gravitate towards you, where nobody else will be trusted or good enough to get the job done.
An example would be a brain surgeon versus a general practitioner. Who can command more money? Who has more credibility? Who will you go to if you (God forbid) ever have a brain tumor? Point is, think about how you can start specializing. A Chiropracter who specializes in golfers is a great example of this. Or an accountant who specializes in home based businesses. Or a Marketing teacher who specializes in email… and the list goes on and on. What can You specialize in? Figure that out and you’re on your way.
The Highest Priced
This might seem a bit strange at first, but people are naturally blown away and impressed by the highest priced products and services. In fact, there is usually a segment of any given market that will Only buy the highest priced products and services! My Mother-in-law is like this. She always has to buy the high priced thing. It’s like she has a mental block that prevents her from getting a good price or a good deal. She wants the Best and, in her mind, that usually translates to the most Expensive. Well, guess what? You, me and just about everyone else has customers in the market place who are the same way. We unconsciously think that someone who has the balls to charge the high, outrageous price Must be the best. It also gets you lots of attention too. The only catch is you must deliver on the goods if you’re going to charge the most. I would not recommend doing this unless you really Are tops. Otherwise, people will find out you’re not worth the high price, spread the word and it’s like reverse positioning and that’s the last thing you want.
A Hole To Fill
All you need to do is find a little hole to fill, a problem you can solve nobody else is addressing and then claim you’re the person to solve it. It helps if you’re first in your market but not necessary. You have to really look at your market, study it. Ask people what they are unhappy with, what they wish everyone would offer, etc… or simply observe what everyone is doing. One example of this would be Walt Disney. Before his amusement parks, carnivals were travelling pirates, basically. They’d arrive, rip everyone off then go to the next town before the people would come after them with pitchforks in hand. There was obviously a demand for carnivals, rides, and so on. But nobody was doing it ethically or safely or even cleanly. So Walt Disney asked, “why not build a park that does the opposite? That is clean, safe and that people come To it, instead of it going to them?” So he grabbed that positioning and has had it ever since. Find that crack, that painful problem in the market nobody else is addressing, seize it and run with it as fast as you can.
When I say “celebrity” I’m not necessarily saying you have to be in a movie or TV show or play for a professional sports team. But, in today’s media obsessed culture people trust and follow celebrities more than they do real experts. If movie star A decides to write a book about the latest diet fad, the media will jump on it and make that person a celebrity expert. It won’t matter if they really ARE an expert in that field, if any other “for real” experts agree with his or her conclusions, or if the movie star even knows what they’re talking about. Doesn’t matter. Society today loves the celebrity and celebrities are automatically positioned as experts. You can tap into this phenomenon by doing things like using press releases, public speaking (where you get the “podium effect” and automatically are trusted as the authority in the room), and writing a book. Become a celebrity and you have top positioning.
The Lowest Priced
We talked earlier about positioning yourself by charging the highest prices. Well, guess what? You can also get great positioning by charging the Lowest prices, too. This is not something I would do (or even recommend to most people). But if you have the infrastructure in place and know your numbers, you Can make this work. Think Wal-Mart. They are positioned number 1 out of any and all retailers – big or small. Their main selling point? They have the lowest prices. Again there are people who will NOT shop there for this very reason. But, there are people who will always be attracted to the lowest price. They aren’t always the best customers, and low margins mean you often have to sell more product which could be a recipe for disaster long term. But, if you are in the right market, and if you have the right structure in place, this can be a Mega powerful position to have.
This is a great short cut way to get top positioning. It may take a lot of networking, schmoozing and maybe even begging. But if you can do this, you can get very fast top positioning in your market. Let me give you a real life example to illustrate how this works so it will be crystal clear how quickly and easily this can happen for you. Many years ago talk show queen Oprah Winfrey (you know who she is right?) met up with a guy who was doing counseling for people and little businesses and he was a complete nobody nationally. But then one day, Oprah decided to have him on her show telling her massive audience how much she loved the guy’s stuff, how great he was and how he can help people, etc… Her audience watch her religiously and want to be like her. So when she says “Dr. Phil is the best, this guy can help anybody solve relationship problems, you need to listen to this guy,” all of her audience immediately said, “well if he’s good enough for Oprah and she says he’s great, and I trust her, then he must be great.” Dr. Phil literally became an overnight household name with top positioning. He also got his own TV show, books, the works. He’s a famous guy now, and it’s all because Oprah took a chance on him and transferred all her credibility to him. And let’s face it: Anyone can potentially do the same thing. Maybe you can’t get on a show like Oprah, but chances are you CAN hook up with people in your market with influence and prestige.
Be A Leader
This is what really separates the men from the boys in business. With the Internet, easy self publishing, quick media publicity and all the other things we’ve talked about here, it’s fairly easy to position yourself as an expert. Really, you don’t even have to be an expert to be seen as one anymore. Just write a book, get on a talk radio show, be endorsed by someone with a big following, etc and you’re an instant expert. And if you have positioned yourself as a celebrity as we talked about, you may very well be seen as even More of an expert as the “for real” experts out there.
But, if you want unshakable positioning, then being an expert is not always going to be enough. Especially in an overheated market. In those cases you want to be not just an expert but also a Leader. This is a Huge power boost for you. It’s one thing to be called “John Smith, expert dog trainer.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and that CAN work. But, it’s something else entirely to be called and seen as “John Smith World Leader In Dog Training.”
What’s the big difference?
It’s simple: Experts are listened to, but leaders are Followed.
I don’t want people just listening to me, I want people following me. Leaders are given a special place in today’s world because there are so few out there. Truth is people want to follow leaders. I don’t remember who said it but it’s brilliant:[feature_box style=”11″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”]
“Most people are walking around umbilical cord in hand looking for somewhere to plug it into.”[/feature_box]
We all want and need leadership in certain areas of our lives. If you are that leader, you will have not only a following of people but you will also have top positioning in your market.
The Rotten Fruit
Here’s a great way to position yourself if you’re brand new to a market. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to do it, and you are also doing your market a Huge service as well as positioning yourself as both a leader and someone people can trust. And that is to be the person who is exposing all the scams and cons in your industry. It’s so simple, too. All you do is start paying attention to what kind of BS is going on in your market and then warn your list about it. I don’t recommend naming names but just show people how to tell if the fruit is rotten or not. Tell them all the tricks people use in your industry to scam others. You can do this all day long and never run out of stuff to say. And, at the same time, you’re solidly positioning yourself as the go-to person for when people need someone they can trust and follow.
Here’s another way to position yourself that takes guts. But, if you can pull it off, you’ll probably never have to worry about being noticed again. And that is to come up with an offer or guarantee so outrageously generous, people have No Choice but to check out what you have and trust you. Take for example, the great Dominos Pizza story: “Fresh hot pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free.” That’s pretty standard these days for a lot of places. But at the time, it was Huge. Dominos found that hole in the market to fill and filled it not with dirt but Gold. And they became industry leaders after that. Another great example to get your mind going: “I’ll fix your car right the first time or I’ll buy your car!” Now how in the world can you Not take that mechanic up on that offer? Gutsy? Yes!
What kind of offer can you make that gives people no choice but to check you out? That will get people buzzing and talking about you? And thus, will give you solid positioning? Would love to hear about it, comment below.