All business owners are looking to get any advantage they can get over their competitors. This is why it is important to have a list of compelling reasons as to why your company is better than others in your category. Having a clear idea as to the benefits received by your customers when they do business with you is the starting point for any marketing campaign. These benefits will help you market your business better and increase sales.
7 Points of difference in doing business with Australian Christmas Cards
The reasons below make us stand out from our competitors:
- We have a culture of friendliness and helpfulness with our professional team.
- We exceed expectations and provide free gifts and bonuses for our clients and donations to charity.
- We have great relationships with our customers – some we have helped for over 25 years.
- It is very easy to order from us. Customers can pay on account and talk to us about their requirements.
- For Christmas card printing, quality and accuracy are vital. Yet, we look to protect our customers rather than ourselves. There are no multi page contracts. Our customers just email or call to say the proof is good and please print.
- We educate our clients. I write and print a monthly newsletter called Keeping Your Customers for Life and also two ezines per month called SmallBizTips.
- Finally, we are the only Christmas card company in our industry that has a 120% Money Back Guarantee. This means if you are not happy with the quality of our Christmas cards, we will give you your money back plus 20% for wasting your time or alternatively, pay someone else to print your cards for you.
Obviously, as one of the leading suppliers of corporate Christmas cards in Australia, we send Christmas cards to our clients. However, suppose we provided other products and services besides Christmas cards. We would definitely still send Christmas cards to our clients.
Point 1 says we have a culture of friendliness and helpfulness. Point 3 says we have great relationships with our customers. With these two points of difference in our list of benefits, do you think the sending of Christmas cards would be part of that plan? Of course it would. If friendliness and strong relationships with your customers are part of your company culture, then you would enhance your reputation in these areas of your business by sending Christmas cards to your clients.
Your points of difference are not the same as a Unique Selling Proposition. A Unique Selling Proposition is a much shorter statement that can be a powerful influence on buying decisions but generally it is lacking in detail. Most consumers will want more detail before being influenced by a company’s short Unique Selling Proposition.
An example that I often use when talking about Unique Selling Propositions is Woolworths. Its slogan, “the Fresh Food People” is short but effective. It lists one benefit of doing business with Woolworths. It’s used in an effort to distinguish itself from other supermarkets rather than claiming to be the only seller of fresh food in Australia.
Other benefits might be low prices, convenient locations, large trolleys, fast checkout, large range of products and free parking. These are really supplementary benefits but when added to the Unique Selling Proposition, make an even more compelling case to buy their products and services.
Large companies may find it easy to have a short Unique Selling Proposition that is easily recognised. Here are two more.
Domino’s Pizza – We deliver fresh hot pizza to your door in 30 minutes or less or it is free.
Federal Express – If it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
It is important not to try and be everything but specialise in just one thing. That is why the above are so powerful. They are easy to remember. Note that Domino’s Pizza does not guarantee to bake the most nutritious pizzas. Federal Express does not guarantee to be cheapest freight company.
Smaller companies tend to have longer Unique Selling Propositions and they simply become a point of difference or in some cases, multiple points of difference.
3 Clever Unique Selling Propositions from smaller companies
- Saddleback Leather’s website is full of stories about Mexican bullfighting and travel in third world countries. Their slogan is “They’ll Fight Over it When You’re Dead.”
- Mast Brothers Chocolate has a compelling story about how their chocolate is made. The brothers relate stories back to the 18th century when people took a lot of pride in working with their hands. They tell stories of travelling in a wooden sailing boat to faraway lands to find the best cacao bean possible. Then, the beans are shipped back by sailboat. The brothers make every chocolate bar themselves from the cacao bean to the packaging.
- Steve “created Nerd Fitness to give people struggling to get healthy a fighting chance.” His slogan is “Stop taking advice from the dark side. There’s a better way to get healthy.” Nerd Fitness is unique because it sells to a certain group of people.
Ideally, a Unique Selling Proposition should be brief but this is not always possible. It is not easy to come up with points of difference for your company. You could tell interesting stories about your products to make them appeal to your buyers as Saddleback Leather have done. You could also talk about how your product is made and explain the effort taken to manufacture your product and why this process makes it the best. Thirdly, you can make your product appeal to a certain audience and Nerd Fitness has done this in a clever way.
There are other ways to make your product stand out. You can exhibit exceptional service as Federal Express has done. You could offer an amazing guarantee as we have done with our 120% Money Back Guarantee – unheard of in the Christmas card printing industry. Also, Domino’s Pizza has a simple and easily remembered guarantee. You could also take one aspect of your product and highlight this. Woolworths highlights the freshness of its food.
Other ways you could stand out is with your prices, how your product helps the environment, the results your products or service generate, how you help the community such as charities. You could also talk about the safety of your product or any awards you have received.
There really are endless ways to explain your points of difference. Firstly, you must determine who your target market is and what is needed to please them. If you are still stumped for ideas, just ask your customers. They will tell you why they buy from you. These answers may vary and what you will get is a list of points of difference which are easier to gather than a single Unique Selling Proposition.
Sending Christmas cards to your clients helps you keep in touch with your clients and builds on that relationship and it will make your clients more willing to communicate with you. It will help you to gather a long list of points of difference for your business. Then, it is up to you to live up to those points of difference. If one of those benefits is a strong relationship and effective communication, then the sending of Christmas cards will help to build on that perception of friendliness that your customers currently have about you.