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September-October 2006: Don't Be the Cheap Guy
by Stephen Ghelerter

As a marketer, you must do something to make your prospects interested in your company. Presenting yourself as the low price guy is the most obvious and common position that is promoted, though it may not be the wisest.

This position minimizes the value of your product or service to the customer, and cuts into your profit. Low price could create an impression that you deal in "cheap" products or provide poor service. Furthermore, if you lower your prices or offer coupons, your competitors could do the same and all you would have accomplished is to reduce everyone's profits.

Fortunately, you don’t always need a low price to make an offer attractive. There are many other attributes of your product and your company that you can promote that will again differentiate your offer from the competition.

Avis didn't advertise that they were cheaper than Hertz, but that they tried harder. Papa John's doesn't advertise that their pizzas are cheaper, but that the use better ingredients. Domino's is known for fast delivery service. Craftsman tools are known for their quality and lifetime warranty, not their prices. And convenience stores are anything but cheap, yet they keep busy. Fashion items often carry prices way out of proportion to their cost.

You too can sell something other than price. Here are some ways:

  • Exciting new items.

  • American made and union made products.

  • Rush service, or fast regular service.

  • Seasonal items (golf, holiday gifts, etc.)

  • Large selection, large inventory.

  • High quality products.

  • Outstanding service .

  • Having a unique item.

  • Sales of your products support a charity.

  • Simplicity: Making it easy for customers to do business with you.

  • Specialty: Have expertise and large inventory of some specific area, like a hardware store having an extensive paint department.

  • Strong warranty.

  • Convenience.

  • A well known brand.

Choose what is right for you, promote it hard, and walk the walk. Let the price shoppers who have no loyalty to their suppliers go to the cheap guy, and let him not make any money.

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