Two Ways to Differentiate Your Products NOW: Smack Your Competitors

Competing in the coffee industry, I understand how hard it can be to differentiate what you offer from your competitors. I once had a man say that “all coffee tasted the same”. I wanted to kick this guy in the head, but he made me realize that I wasn’t doing a good enough job of explaining what made us different. So here are two ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace and kick your competition’s ass.

1.) TELL YOUR STORY

This applies to your industry. I promise it does. Every product has a story; some are easier to tell than others. For example, with coffee, we talk about the origin of the beans, how they were farmed, who farmed them, how they were processed, how we roasted them and how we decided to blend them. Holy shit right. That’s a long story for a cup of coffee. The story that we tell will be different from our competition and that my friend is what helps us differentiate our products. If you aren’t telling a story, your product has no soul. Think about it like this: a vending machine that sells cans of lemonade and a group of kids selling lemonade on the sidewalk are both selling the same product, but their stories are different. If the kids aren’t ugly, they can probably sucker you out of $2, maybe even $3 for a little cup of lemonade. If the vending machine gave you a little cup for $2 you’d probably kick it over and someone would call the cops. If you are selling a service, talk about how you learned your craft and why you are so passionate about it. Tell people about how your grandfather taught you to cut hair and how in high school you cut your buddies’ hair in your garage. People can relate to you more when they understand the story you are telling. Your story separates you from the rest, and people trust you.

2.) VALUE ADDED SERVICES

If you are selling a pure product, you suck. Your competition can probably make the product for less; they probably have better distribution channels, more attractive packaging, and an advertising budget worth more than your house. So enjoy eating shit. You need to include “value added services” to compete with the Goliaths in your industry. Done right, a value added service should make them feel like they’ve gotten something for free. For example, if you sell crystal glassware, a value added service would be teaching people how to polish it. If you own an automotive shop, a value added service would be teaching a customer how to check their oil. Value added services that are educational position you as an expert in that person’s eyes. Now that they see you as an expert they trust you, and trust is a huge factor in creating loyal customers. Now if you want to go above and beyond and really kick the shit out of your competitors you can personalize the value added service. This means tailoring the service to what they just purchased. If they ordered a shirt off of your website, send them “10 Outfit Ideas” with that shirt. If they just purchased a French press, send them an awesome video discussing the best coffees to brew that way. Value added services help separate you from the rest by giving your customers more bang for their buck. Suck it competition.