I recently viewed a keynote by the great Guy Kawasaki who tells us the 12 things Steve Jobs taught him. One of the things Steve taught him was marketing and providing unique value. As always, I try to find ways to translate this information and insight and make it relevant to our complex industry full of intricate supply chains. As a building product manufacturer with lots of competitors how do you make yourself unique and valuable? Most products are ‘me-to’ products and the only difference is the size of the organisation.
If you think you have 2 or 3 competitors then do a Google search for what you manufacture and look at the companies who are listed on page 1 and 2. They are also your competitors. Surprise!
Guy explains the difference between value over price, presented as a matrix below:
Where is your business located on this grid? You want to be located in the yellow box where you are unique and valuable right? But are you?
The problem is that most companies are located in the other 3 coloured boxes says Kawasaki. In my opinion most building product companies may find themselves in the green box because the products they market may not be unique (me-to products) but are actually valuable. But exactly what makes your product valuable? There are lots of companies who do what you do (competitors), they make what you make and serve the same audience but what makes each one unique?
I am great believer that what makes each company different is marketing why they do what they do. Not WHAT they do such as ‘manufacture aluminium rainscreen cladding’ or ‘the manufacture of architectural bricks’ or ‘manufacture quality steel lintels’ – but marketing WHY we manufacture aluminium rainscreen cladding or WHY we manufacture bricks or WHY we manufacture steel lintels.
This is the hard bit – I always wonder how many marketers ask themselves “Why do we make what we make?”
What services do you provide your audience that makes you unique? As marketers you should be looking at ways to convince your audience that your business and its products/services are unique and valuable. Not telling them what you do. All the time.
Anybody brave enough to let us know where you think you are located on this grid?