Nobody likes a price war—particularly the entrepreneur who finds herself cutting into business’s profits just to attract customers who aren’t ideal, who don’t really “get it” and who will never be willing to pay her what she’s worth.
For those of you who believe price wars are inevitable in the race to market leadership, I have some exciting news. There’s a better way to dominate the competition, whilst still making the kind of profit that will afford you the life you want and deserve.
The keyword here is differentiation, and your unique brand has plenty of potential for standing out. All you’ll need is the right advice for communicating what you alone have to offer to your ideal customers.
Do this right, and price won’t matter. In fact, it will barely earn a second glance from customers who are too engrossed with what your brand has to offer to even notice.
What good is a price war anyway?
The only thing a price war will ever accomplish is diminishing the market to a murky pool of under-priced products that meet no one’s needs and that have no distinct message outside of price. And who wins in that situation? No one. Not you, not your competitors, not the customers.
However, if you can find a way to rise above the fray, you and your ideal customers will reap benefits richer than you may have imagined possible. Here’s how:
Find your USP
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is that thing about you that makes you different from the rest.
Do you work harder? Are you more innovative? Are you funnier? Have you created a process that makes operations more efficient? Is your product innovative in a way that solves a new problem, or solves an old problem in a new way?
There’s really no limit to the ways in which you can be unique; however, the challenge comes in identifying that USP. I would suggest asking those who know you best.
What do they see as unique about you? What do they think you can offer that no one else can touch? This is what will position your brand in the market and what your competition will never be able to duplicate.
Create a unique customer experience and/or journey
What makes Corona different from other beers? It’s the lime ritual. What makes Dove different than other soaps? It’s the uplifting message for women. And what sets Apple apart from other tech companies? No doubt, it’s the innovation.
When you do things differently, or create a different “feeling” about your brand, people will rarely question price point. Do you think the people waiting in line outside the Apple store are grumbling about price? Or are they salivating at the thought of getting that new iPhone in their hands?
Yes, this is about the product or service you’re offering—but it’s never only about that. Give some serious thought to what your customers are experiencing on the route to that destination because the ease, excitement or inspiration of the journey is often the one thing that will take the spotlight off the price.
Build your personal brand
There is only one you. And for this reason, building your personal brand alongside your corporate brand will, by default, make your business unlike any other.
The days of companies hiding behind faceless logos are gone. Today’s consumer wants to know the business owner. She wants to know your story—how you got started, what drives you, what you hope to accomplish and how you want to help her.
Share these things freely. Give them a taste of your personality. Demonstrate your values. Only then can you attract the people who share those values and who will flock to you for everything except your price point.
Master your message
You have to really know your ideal customer for this one. And I’m not just talking about demographics. I’m talking about true consumer intimacy—the kind where you don’t just get into their shoes, you get into their heads and their hearts.
You know their pains, you know their desires so well that you’re ready to craft a message that speaks directly to each ideal customer and touches them deeply and motivationally. This 100-word message will be used to build your brand introduction video, your elevator pitch, your marketing materials and so much more.
The truth that many business owners don’t understand (or won’t accept) is this: when your price point goes down, so does the perceived value of your brand.
Even though some consumers shop for price, deep down, they know they’re going to get what they pay for. And do you really want that type of customer anyway? One that’s willing to settle for less, because she’s then committed to giving nothing in return? No referrals, no testimonials, no loyalty?
Your ideal customer wants to know about you and the uniqueness you will bring to her life. Now is the time to give her that, and leave all tendencies toward a price war behind, always remembering that whilst your price can be matched, your uniqueness is forever yours.
About the author
Sammy Blindell is the founder, CEO and visionary behind How to Build a Brand, the world’s most valuable brand-building resource for legacy creators and owners of purpose-drive businesses.