How Unique Are You? Differentiating Your Personal Brand NOT on Price!
I think the hardest part of our work with clients is on the topic of unique selling proposition. Clients have a very difficult time believing they are unique. Sadly, not many people ever really believe they are truly unique and can stand out and be memorable in the sea of sameness of their profession. Once we convince them they are unique the problem becomes how we communicate that uniqueness to our target market and how we sell that differentiation.
Most people tend to want to differentiate based on price. Price differentiation rarely works. People tend to buy a product or service based on price only when there is nothing else to help them make their buying decision- ie, there is no differentiating factor that grabs them emotionally. At that point, they settle for the cheapest. Is that what you want for your personal and business brand- to be settled on because you are the cheapest, but not necessarily the best? I hope not.
Here’s a good example of this price differentiation at work. I know of a regional CPA firm. One of their employees was telling me one day how the CPA firm keeps losing bids for services when they go into meeting to present their proposal. He said they often lower their prices to come in cheaper and get the business and guess what- they rarely do. This person was extremely frustrated and upset.
I explained to him that the prospects shopping for CPA firms were not looking at cheaper to be better. However the CPA firm was coming across in the proposal meetings was not an optimal personal brand. I told him that the CPA firm needed to find their unique-ness when they go into these proposal meetings and stop making it about price. By coming in so cheap, odds are the prospects are thinking the CPA firm is either: a) desperate or b) not very good at what they claim to do. None of which are good personal brand builders that lead to long lasting relationships with a strong referral base.
So ask yourself- do you really differentiate on your unique-ness or are you just following the crowd by saying something like, “we are prompt” or “we are reliable” or “we are knowledgeable”. All I have to say about the latter three statements is that every business better be prompt, reliable and knowledgeable….!