When it comes to good direct-marketing tips, you never know where you’re going to find good lessons and creative ideas.
For example, every Sunday in my local paper, they have some kind of a spreadsheet comparing the cost of a basket of groceries at a few different supermarkets.
So one week, Publix might be the cheapest place to shop… and another week it’s Wal-Mart, and sometimes even the Super Target gets in there. I don’t know, I really don’t pay too much attention to the winner as much as I do the concept.
The thing is — and these are the little kinds of pearls of wisdom I’m always looking for — it’s very easy to get shopped around for prices when you’re selling the same thing as everyone else is.
When you’re a commodity, you can only charge “so much.”
After all, a gallon of milk’s a gallon of milk, regardless of where you buy it, right?
Same thing with Navel Oranges, Oreo cookies, and Windex, for the most part.
I mean, if you’re a price shopper, it’s kind of hard to justify spending twice the price on Windex when you can walk across the street and get it at half price, no?
But if you look at this from the outside in, this whole concept is very revealing. Because what this tells you is that if you want to charge (and collect) more money than your competition, then you have to be selling something different.
This completely removes any ability to “compare” prices.
So for instance, if you’re a music teacher, while most people are offering Music Lessons, you can create a “Professional Guitar School,” or a blues-guitar school, or a heavy metal guitar school where you “Make your students into metal Gods” or something like that.
If you’re a financial planner, and you’re mired in mutual funds and insurance products, you can sell a “Baby Boomer Freedom Plan.”
The point is, if you want to charge more money, the easiest way of doing this is by offering something different than what everyone else is offering.
After all, no matter how you cook ‘em… eggs… will always be eggs, regardless of what kind of direct-marketing you’re using.