Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Define Or Be Defined

Your business may or may not be rated by sites like Angie's List or ePinions. Yet.

But there will likely come a day when your business is rated versus your competitors using metrics not of your choosing. Metrics that may cause your clients to leave in the blink of an eye.

For food makers, that day has arrived, in the form of NuVal, a nutritional-scoring system that shows at a glance how products stacks up against each other.

According to The Wall Street Journal:
The system, developed by health experts from Yale University and other institutions, uses nutrition data on food labels and other public information to calculate how well a product helps meet federal dietary recommendations. High levels of saturated fat, for example, can pull down the score while calcium can help raise it. Foods are ranked from 1 to 100; the higher the number, the greater the nutritional value.
In the example above, Jif Creamy (left) scores 23; Jif Reduced Fat (right), scores 8.


What would happen if a new ratings system appeared tomorrow that scored your business at 15 out of 100, and your competitor ... 75?

Not a pleasant thought.

Is there a solution?


It's this ...

Define your business before anyone else does, using criteria you choose and the competition can't match.

Examples of effective definition:
  • You save 35% or more with us vs. Global Parts Co., in total cost of ownership
  • We deliver 21% faster to you than Cheapo Parcel Service, on average
  • Everybody knows your name a Dirk's Barber Shop. At Giant Clips? Not so much
After you define your business in terms that can't be matched, communicate your differences to your existing clients every chance you get. Do this ...
  • When they visit your store or web site. 
  • When you send them an email. 
  • When you mail them a monthly newsletter.
Define yourself now to the people who already trust you -- your current clients.

Doing so can build a fence around them, making it less likely they'll jump to your competition for reasons (or ratings) beyond your control.

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