Thursday, February 10, 2011

Choose one thing.


In small and big businesses I see a fatal flaw all the time. They try or ‘claim’ to be the best at to many things at once when advertising. Choose one thing and stick with it. Choosing one thing for which your business will be renowned for: customer service, fuel efficiency, creativity, innovation, burgers… the point is it doesn’t matter. One thing doesn’t mean your bad at other things, but it means that when people think of the tastiest burgers in town they think of you. They don’t think of the tastiest burgers, and the best customer service, and the cleanest washrooms. No... that all might be true, but by choosing a position people think of you when they want a burger. Having too many positions makes the consumer question what it is your actually good at.

And please never claim to be the best, I question that. I question when the sushi shop claims to have the best sushi in town, and incidentally the one across the street claims the same thing. Best is overused, it’s general. Instead show me, tell me and specialize! Instead of saying we have the best sushi in town say, “We’ve been making sushi for 40 years and continue to get better” Now I might go eat in your restaurant.

A perfect example of specialization is Japadog. Japadog has become quite a phenom in downtown Vancouver. Why? Because they make hotdogs, but not just any hotdogs; they make original, innovative hotdogs. They don’t do anything else but make some really kick-ass hotdogs. But you know what… it’s what people know them for, they aren’t claiming to have the best fries, or even the best hot-dogs. They are promising to do their best to supply the most delicious hotdogs in the world. – They aren’t saying they are the best, they aren’t saying they will be, but they damn sure will try. And they do it in cute, improper Japanese, phrasing. 



Again choose a position. Show me it, make me feel it. I love apple’s old slogan “think different” they make me feel what they are doing, what they believe. With that position they are saying – are you always looking for the newest coolest things, want to show people how hip and up to date you are? Don’t just buy Apple, live Apple.

Can you imagine wanting to buy an apple computer when they say “Our computers are better” –me neither.

Next time you watch a car commercial ask yourself, do they have position? You’ll begin to realize not a-lot of companies do it well, but the ones that do seem to have many things going for them. So remember: choose a position, make me feel it, and let the world know.