Sameness. Conformity. Normalcy. These words convey security and stability. They may also be quite reasonable to apply for a business seeking to maintain the status quo; to carry on as before, and to continue down the well-trodden path.
They are also killers for marketing effectiveness. If you play the “me too” game you will beat your brains out trying to convince clients to switch to you from your competitors.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with serving a stable client base — in fact, if you can’t maintain your existing clients and obtain repeat and hopefully referral business, you’ll most likely be dead in the water sooner than later. And, especially if your clients are conservative in character, you don’t want to rock the boat too much with them because they are your bread and butter. If your business has several of these clients, enough for long-term stability, then I would agree you don’t need to think about marketing and differentiation. (Ironically, this quality may be especially the case if you serve the public sector and enjoy the protective benefits of the Brooks Act.)
You simply don’t want to blow it through complacency. Take things for granted too much, and you may be caught by a surprise or two out of left field.
However, I would argue that building some creative difference; some uniqueness, into your business — which still resonates with your existing clients — will give you a powerful edge going forward, and help protect yourself from encroachments.
Spend some time and think about what you do (or can do) that makes you truly different, truly valuable to your clients. Get that right, and the rest of the marketing picture becomes easy. Your challenge then becomes to credibly share the news and make your services both rationally and emotionally appealing.
But without the difference, you can’t even get started.
Can you tell me (and your clients) what makes you different and special? You can share your thoughts with a comment, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This weekend, I plan to switch to a new theme/design for the blog. Expect some test posts and odd/awkward “looks” — hopefully by Monday things will look new, and better.