FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Mick Torbay: Greetings, I’m Mick Torbay from Wizard of Ads Toronto and today I’m going to talk about a marketing mistake that your competitors are most certainly making and how you can profit from it. Now, why do I know they are making it? Because almost everyone does, and of course I’m talking trying to beat the leader at their own game. Why do businesses make this mistake so consistently? Well, it’s because they watch the leader and they see what they do and then conclude that’s the only way to win. That is to say, you see how the leader is playing the game and then you conclude that’s the only game in town.
It isn’t, but, it’s a lot easier to see why the leader is doing well at that particular game then it is to see why you’ll succeed at yours. Does that make sense to you? Let me put it another way. I have a client in the furniture business. Medium sized market. Now in furniture, the leaders are all pretty much saying the same thing, remember this from the last video? Okay, so it’s happening again. The big furniture retailers are basing their message on the following ideas. High quality, low price. Now here’s a guess. In whatever market you’re in the furniture retailers are all kind of saying the same version of high quality, low price. Am I right? So yes, they’re all making mistake number three by saying the same thing.
But, my client had been making mistake number four. Which is trying to beat them at their own game and here’s what’s interesting. My client sold Mennonite furniture. Now if you’re unfamiliar with the Mennonite’s of Southern Ontario they have much in common with the Amish of Pennsylvania. They don’t use electricity, they don’t drive cars, they wear plain clothing, they’re fiercely religions and they generally keep to themselves. The furniture the Mennonite’s produce is old school, solid wood, dovetails, no rivets, no plywood, no being open on Sunday. That’s a rule from my client’s Mennonite suppliers, you don’t sell on Sunday. The quality, outstanding.
This is like brand new antique furniture. Amazing quality. The price, now here’s the interesting part, the price is also amazingly good. My client buys directly from the craftsman who makes the furniture and they price the furniture based on how much time it takes to make it and the cost of the materials. They do not care a bit for market prices. Would people pay more for this stuff? You want to believe it, but the Mennonite craftsmen would see that as taking advantage and that would be sinful. He asks a fair price, my client adds a standard retail markup and the result is a surprisingly low price. But we were talking about marketing, weren’t we.
My client’s messages before I got involved was high quality and low price. And I’m going to swear that for once this was the truth. You hear it all the time and it’s normally a crock. But this one case, at this one store, they had high quality and low price and that’s what’s their ad said. Trouble is, that’s what the big chains were saying too, only the big chains were saying it louder and more often and that’s what a big budget gets you. It buys you loud and often so my client was losing that battle.
So how do we change the message? Well, the first step, we didn’t mention quality or price. That’s right out. One of the things we learned is what makes our client offering truly unique and created a persuasive campaign based on truth and not marketing hype. That message was built without compromise. Now how do you prove that? Because any time you make a claim but you can’t prove it you’re wasting your time. How do you prove built without compromise? Well, it starts with explaining where the furniture comes from. Remember this table was built by a Mennonite. Try and talk him into using cheaper materials. Or use plywood on the inside because the consumer won’t know the difference.
Let me remind you this a guy who drives a horse and buggy to work. Go ahead, try and get him to cut a few corners to make things easier or cheaper. You have to understand that for the Amish or the Mennonites doing things the right way, the old fashioned way isn’t just a matter of style, it’s actually part of his religion. He believes that doing the job properly, the hard way brings him closer to God. Now, do you believe me when I say the furniture at his store is built without compromise? Does that message resonate as true?
You can’t beat the big guys at their game. They’re too good at it and they can outspend you anytime they want. But no retail chain can touch my client’s message because they changed the game. And big chain furniture is mass produced in factories overseas by the cheapest labor they can find. It’s made light to be easier to ship and to deliver. Compromise at every step. The funny thing is it took an ad guy, who has no real experience in furniture to see this blind spot.
Left to their own devices, business owners will consistently make this mistake over and over again. Watch what the leader does and then just do some of that. But not my clients and not you. Not anymore. I’m Mick Torbay from Wizard of Ads Toronto making the world a better place one commercial at a time.