The basis of capitalism is “the individual will do what’s
good for the individual.” When you consider marketing your product or service,
you need to consider it from your customers’ perspectives. What’s in it for
If you talk about how cold your refrigerator is, you’re
talking about a feature. The refrigerator is cold. So what? What does that mean
to your customer? The refrigerator will keep food fresher longer because of its
cold temperature. The feature is “cold;” the benefit is “fresher food.” Too
many businesses list features and think they are benefits.
A feature is not a benefit. A benefit explains how a product
or service will make the consumers’ lives better, and just because it’s a
benefit for you, doesn’t mean it’s a benefit for someone else. The most
compelling benefits are emotional or financial.
A competitive advantage is a special kind of benefit. It is one that is unique to you or it is something that only you talk about. It’s a benefit that gets the buyer’s attention, sells your product, keeps customers coming back, and causes people to talk about your product. The right competitive advantage buries your competition and should become the focus of your overall marketing plan.
Every business needs to have a competitive advantage. This
is something that the business does that others do not, or it is something that
the business talks about that others do not. It needs to be a positive benefit,
communicated with a few well-selected words, and something that people will
relate only to you.
So, what is our competitive advantage? Our penguins are unique
from the norm; have you seen another white penguin on the market? They’re rare
in the wild, too. Our penguins are also unique from each other. No two penguins
look exactly the same because their eyes are hand-embroidered. Their height
fluctuates within a half-inch because they are hand-sewn. How much stuffing gets
used for different penguins is variable as well. Our penguins are also rare.
They are handmade. We only have one maker, so supply is limited. For
collectors, the rarity and uniqueness are benefits.
A second competitive advantage is that we can make penguins
in costumes that can’t be found anywhere else. If someone wants a particular
style of penguin or costume, Jenya can make it. We’ve done steampunk penguins
as a special order.
A third advantage is our Penguin Passports. Our penguins are
travelers. You can take them with you and use them for Instagram photos and fun
while you travel. The passports reveal their names and their likes. These names
are never the same.