Think again. You are NEVER too small to compete against anyone! Which is why I LOVED this latest story about how Best Buy, the electronics retailer who was on the verge of banktrupcy is actually growing because of a key differentiator against their giant competitor Amazon (who I love also!). Here’s the story:
When You Can’t Compete On Price
In 2012, Best Buy was on the verge of closing thanks to a sex-scandal a-la-CEO. You know, the kind that shut Harvey Weinstein down for good. Not only that, even if that stink went away, their prices for the same products were 15x higher than that of Amazon’s! How on earth do you come back from that? This is such a huge lesson for my clients who are either daunted by competitors who price cut or the opposite, who insist on positioning on being the lowest price! Leave price alone when it comes to your differentiator. There’s a better way.
The Consumer’s Unmet Need
When I speak, the audience often asks me: “Well, you’ve told us we can’t position on price, well we have no technology so what DO we say to make ourselves different than the next guy?” And I ask them this simple question: “What is your target customer’s pain?”, “what is an unmet or unresolved problem they have in their industry that your company can solve for them?” That is all there is to it. In fact, it was the exact question that Best Buy asked themselves. They developed a secret weapon of an army of IT support that Amazon didn’t have and couldn’t offer. This army was aptly called ‘The Geek Squad’. I see them everywhere in my city. I’m sure you do too.
Results of Niching On Pain
Well, let me tell you, unlike most retailers who are crying their eyes out in the face of Amazon’s unstoppable growth, Best Buy has somehow continued to grow, beating earnings predictions for 22 consecutive quarters and quadrupling stock! That’s how most pain based niching and messaging works. It is a sure thing.