Melodramatic? Not necessarily, considering that a failure to differentiate yourself from your competition is one of the biggest reasons an advertising campaign may not work. There are probably anywhere from 10 to 1,000 other people in your market who provide exactly the same product or service that you do. Why should a prospect choose you over all of those other companies?
As important as it is to separate yourself from your competition, it is also difficult to do. Here are some things to consider…
Price: While this may be the first thing that comes to mind, it is also the most difficult. Constantly pushing prices (and profit margins) lower is not necessarily a good strategy for staying in business long. The Better Business Bureau also discourages the practice of the “Guaranteed Lowest Price” because of the difficulty of keeping up with current pricing of all of your competitors.
Service/Responsiveness: Everyone claims they provide the best service. Hard to differentiate yourself there unless you can apply a specific standard such as 24 Hour Emergency Service or 45 Minute Response Guaranteed.
Trust/Quality/Awards: A high rating with the BBB, AAA, or any widely accepted rating service for your industry is always useful. If you have won an award, contest, or poll of any kind you can use it to your advantage.
Humor: See the post below (September 2, 2010) about the pizza billboards that used humor as a way to create a perception of a quality advantage. Humor does not always have to highlight a competitive advantage. It can be used just to attract attention, and the good feelings that accompany laughter or amusement can actually increase the perception of your company.
If you are going to spend thousands of dollars trying to attract new customers, why would you ignore one of the key factors of successful advertising? Talk to an advertising professional at Billboard Connection for ideas to help differentiate your business.