I recently was in the grocery store. Looking for my favorite coffee. When I found the isle I was presented with a wall of choices. 38 different varieties of coffee were on the racks with another set of choices as to the volume of coffee. In a simple walk through the rest of the store, I began to realize that consumers are presented with a Tsunami of choices in all categories.
We all become overwhelmed with these choices and often then gravitate to the best known brand or make some other criteria that will provide the consumer with a method to make their purchase. The lack of true analysis based on the choices translates into consumers sometimes buying the product that is not the highest quality or the best product, but the product that they know best.
This lesson of choice is important to each of us individually or as a corporation. When given a choice, why would a consumer seek to choose you? What makes you remarkable? Are you packaged differently so that you and your product stand out? What features of your product is extraordinary? In service industries, it is close to impossible to change our products. But our presentation of our products can provide the differentiation that will allow for us to stand out. Design or experience or features, they all are ways to different products. Apple computers uses a design and simplicity as the hallmark of their product. They have the most elegant designs and the simplicity of their user interface is years ahead of the competition’s. Bank of New York has long emphasized the ‘history’ and ‘experience’ of the bank and its bankers as their distinguishing marks. They don’t sell checking or saving accounts, they sell the value of their advise in the financial arena. It is what sets them apart. Trader Joe’s, a grocery store, long ago determined that they could provide high quality private label products to their consumers. They choose to eliminate the big national brands in lieu of their own labeled products. Many grocery stores do this also, but Trader Joe’s did it with panache, a unique sales experience, and the quality of their products made them highly successful.
Commodification of products and services can negatively impact many industries and products. If they fail to make their products and services extraordinary, they will die. What can you do to set yourself apart in this tsunami of choices?