Do You Own The Edge?

Own the Marketing EdgeYou are guided by a nervous system that is programmed to avoid risk and the pain of loss. And what you stand to lose or gain from your available choices impacts every decision you make.

Emotion is the driving force used by your nervous system to influence your decisions.

Feelings of fear and trepidation are triggered by the unknown. These emotions prompt you to invest your resources cautiously.

Feelings of trust, comfort and security are triggered by things familiar:  Family and friends.  Ethnic background.  Political affiliations.

Humans have long trusted the wisdom of groups as a survival mechanism. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns explains, “There is, of course,  great value in belonging to a group. Safety in numbers, for one. But there is also a mathematical explanation for why the brain is so willing to give up its own opinions: a group of people is more likely to be correct about something than an individual.”

In essence, your natural instinct is to follow the herd. And it’s counterintuitive for you to venture out on your own. That’s why many business owners continually look to their competitors for ideas and inspiration. But beware: this approach is littered with fool’s gold.

Here’s what you must always remember: A business revolution can never be the result of copying the strategy and tactics employed by your competition. Your success is directly related to standing out, not fitting in. And you must battle human nature if you wish to create a unique point of differentiation for your business.

Why is being unique so important?

Because marketing strategies are frequency dependent, which means the value of your marketing message declines as it becomes more common in the marketplace. The greater the number of copycats, the more difficult it will be for your customer to pick out the differences and choose among you. Once all competitors have adopted a similar strategy, no one owns the edge. The arms race continues. Which is why you must work even harder once you’ve achieved market leader status. (Hey, you didn’t think it would get any easier with that big, bright red target on your back, did you?)

Maintaining your status as a market leader requires that you continually raise the bar by improving your company’s value through product innovation, customer intimacy and operational efficiency.

Market leaders never rest. They relinquish no ground.

Remember, ‘safety in numbers’ dictates that your competition will emulate what’s working in the marketplace. Resting on your laurels is a surefire way to invite parity.

So, I have just one question for you: Do you have the courage to break from the herd and own the edge?

Up next… a technique you can use to create a business revolution in your industry.

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2 Responses to “Do You Own The Edge?”

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  1. Dave Young says:

    Great post Tom! Even when you're helping a market leader, the temptation to rest on laurels is hovering around you. Competitors begin to copy message and policy. I've got a client who's competitor has painted a variation of his name on their service trucks. Annoying, but flattering.

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