It’s easy to look at successful companies and think, “I want that.” Success comes after you make Big Goals and take Bold Actions.
Manufacturing in North America has never been more challenging. Not only are manufacturers competing with cheap imports, they’re also facing steep competition at home. Almag Aluminum differentiates their brand by focusing on speed. Faster is better.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are sticky brands. Jim Gilbert’s Wheels and Deals is a 20 year overnight success. They’ve grown into the largest independent used car dealer in New Brunswick, and one of the largest in Eastern Canada. And their customers love them!
What separates one accountant from the next? Not much, they all deliver similar services. The same is true for lawyers, insurance brokers and financial advisors. When everyone looks the same it’s hard to make a referral. Relationships are not enough to differentiate your brand.
No one ever said business has to be fair. Tilt the odds in your favor. Choose a playing field or a niche where you’re guaranteed to win. Every company that grows a sticky brand makes strategic choices of where they will play, how they will win, and how they will tip the odds in their favor.
Many traditional business models are under duress. They are over saturated and driven on price. If you get caught in these forces the question is how will you respond. Will you get dragged down with the masses, or find ways to innovate and better serve your clients? Primo Cards has chosen the latter. They’ve embraced technology, and are using the internet and social media to rethink how a printing company can serve its customers.
Not all niches are equal, and some niches aren’t even niches at all. If everyone offers similar service, it’s not a niche. A niche strategy has to adhere to 3 components: 1, customers self-identify with the niche; 2, specialized expertise or capabilities; 3, market density to support a business.
Repositioning a business can be one of the most costly and painful transitions a company go through. National Logistics Services (NLS) went through 18 months of sales purgatory when it repositioned from a general logistics provider to experts in fashion and footwear. Today NLS has a sticky brand, but it was a challenging journey. Peter Reaume, CEO of NLS explains, “It was one of the scariest thing I’ve ever done. We knew we had to specialize, but the transition was hard.”
Brand loyalty is the hallmark of a sticky brand. Anyone can sell a product or service once, but to have your customers come back again-and-again is a different story. Loyalty is earned.
A lot of time and effort is wasted developing the wrong niche markets. When building a niche strategy ask 3 key questions. 1. Is there a market? 2. Can you compete and win? 3. Will a market leadership position endure?
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