On the schoolyard the bullies are the ones with the most confidence. Armed with the bravado to take on anyone and everyone. But, in the business world they’re considered gods.
The gods of Branding.
Currently my organization charges around three times the price of our competitors when examining with the advertised price (And that’s our starting price), Trump says that the listed price is simply the number placed by the seller to test the market, and I agree. Yet, I’ve been lucky enough to learn that price is much more than a number that you base your gross sales amount on, but the qualifier.
Now, I’ll say it again, our organization charges far more than our competitors, the same competitors who are charging around $300-$400 for a website, and this has zero effect on our business. Our customers have yet to complain about pricing, and we’ve yet to have a dip in sales volume since we’ve upped the prices in January of 2007. So I’m hear to talk about the differences I’ve noticed since the price increase.
1. Brand equity is a must.
If you go out and take a look at my competitors chances are they’re marketing deficient, now I’m not insulting them, and its certainly not a bad thing, but they’re designers. NOT MARKETERS. You must build a brand, being able to separate yourself from the pack is a must if you choose to succeed.
Otherwise you’re wasting your time. Period.
2. No more time leeches
We no longer deal with people who want to bounce an e-business idea off of us. Our pricing, positioning, and products have separated us into our own category. The business owners who choose Campbell do so knowing they want the best. Whether its reaching the top five results of Google or having a sizzling website, they know they won’t be disappointed when the day comes to an end.
3. Operations must be fluid.
When we first started out in the business, as a one man show, I literally “winged it”. I had no order, a system wasn’t in place. Today it’s the exact opposite and with incredible results. Campbell customers pay online, view their data online, receive customer service online, sign their contracts online, and review drafts online.
I don’t know how our competitors are doing it, but I know we’ve picked up many frustrated business owners who just had it up to here when it came to e-consultants.
4. The only option is delivering.
I’ll be honest with you, I procrastinate. At least, if I could I would, but I don’t let myself… Growing up as a business owner I’ve only held one full time job, and there’s something I’ve noticed within myself when I succeeded opposed to when I failed. In order to succeed you must do what successful people do (And I’m not talking of that new age “The Secret” crap). I’m talking about due diligence, technical analysis, competitive intelligence, marketing stratagem, keeping your body sculpted, networking, and staying AGGRESSIVE.
Bull Dogs and Dobermans own the yard, Poodles (Smart and weak) and Yorkies (Cute and Stupid) get eaten.
5. It takes more than being a “consultant”.
You know the old saying, consultants take your watch to tell you what time it is, this really goes back to number four, but I hate “strategic consultants” who do nothing, but tell you the obvious.
Unless you’re Jack Welch or Carly Fiorina I’m already doubting if I need you as a “consultant”.
6. Sometimes, you have to be a bully.
If there’s a competitor I feel I’m stronger than who’s innovating, I’ll attack them and implement their strategies. You must pick your fights wisely, make sure you appear strong when you’re weak, and dormant when you’re strong.
War is Deception. And Business is war.
I recommend a good dose of Sun Tzu.
7. You must be consistent and persistent.
Chances are no one cares who you are, no one certainly cares who I am. So I’m positive that your target customer really isn’t going to care what you do in your free time, or where the owner went to college.
Save it for Thanksgiving Dinner with the In-Laws.
You must be able to hit your target customer from multiple streams. Chances are they’re not going to buy from you the first time around unless you’re the only person who solves their direct need. Get your logo, your unique sales proposition, your literature and ads on the same track.
It takes time and money to build a good brand, but it’s a must.