Imagine walking through a market. On either side there are fruit and veg stalls, and outside each one someone is shouting, “Strawberries. Buy your strawberries here!”
Which one do you choose? The closest. The loudest. The one with the biggest sign. A strawberry is a strawberry, after all.
As a potential customer, there are just too many options. We call this choice blindness. We cannot clearly identify a reason for picking one seller over another, so our decision is random rather than defined by a clear preference.
How choice blindness affects your marketplace
As a supplier, it’s clear that choice blindness is not great for your business. It means that there are two likely outcomes.
- The customer chooses someone else. Your business loses out.
- The customer is too confused or overwhelmed and makes no choice at all. Every business loses out.
You could argue that, with the first outcome, there is a probability that every business will get some customers. But can you afford to be one of many businesses that has a small share of the market, based on random probability?
Being one of the ‘me, too’ businesses is a weak position to hold. You have no strategy or plan for growth and are reliant on every other business also maintaining a static ‘me, too’ approach. If a competitor changes their approach, where does that leave you?
Creating a stronger position in your market
What would make your position in the market stronger? The answer – being the only choice.
You need to create a monopoly. Be the only fruit and veg stall with strawberries.
You might argue that that only major companies can create a monopoly. Immediately, most of us think of Amazon. Can any other online business really compete with Amazon and their giant grip over the book-seller market?
It might not look like it, but actually, you can. Even small solo businesses can have a ‘niche monopoly.’
What does that mean?
It means that you need to be the only place where customers can get what you’re offering. It sounds simple, but how can you apply that to your business. How about this:
- Be the only plumber that promises “I’ll be there” within 25 minutes for your local area.
- Be the web design agency who gets paid for traffic conversion rather than design.
- Be the PR agency that gets paid for quality coverage rather than quantity metrics.
I’m sure you can think of how this might apply to your own industry.
Change the marketplace
When you’re one of many, how can you stand out and be noticed? When you offer the same service as your competitors it’s hard to win over your market.
So, change the game. Decide to change the rules – or better yet, make the rules. Find out what your target market actually wants and make that the lead in your sales pitch.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but once you have identified your niche and you do it well, it can be very profitable. And you’ll benefit in spending a lot less marketing time and effort in a ‘me, too’ competition.
It’s a win, win.