Consumers have choices. Sometimes, the choices are between two relatively similar options, like between an iPhone or an Android phone. Sometimes the choices are between two significantly different options, like between having a baby or going to grad school. In either case, if you want to increase your sales, you need to get customers to prefer YOUR option when making a choice.
There are only two reasons why a customer would prefer your option. Either:
1. You have a natural advantage over the alternatives; or
2. You overcome a lack of natural advantage through “bribery.”
Natural advantages come in two varieties: rational and emotional. A rational natural advantage occurs when your product or service is meaningfully superior in solving a customer’s problem. For example, if you sell the most durable bicycle, you have a natural advantage over others selling to the segment who is looking for a durable bicycle solution.
An emotional natural advantage occurs when your product or service provides a superior feeling of self worth over the alternatives. For example, a status-seeking woman would choose a Louis Vuitton handbag over others because its brand image provides a superior sense of self worth to her.
Remember, a natural advantage is not the same as a strength. For example, you may be strong in “quality,” but that is not an advantage if:
a) There is insufficient demand for quality as a solution in your market; or
b) Others have a similar level of strength in quality (your quality is not meaningfully superior in the mind of the customer.
If you do not have a natural advantage over the alternatives (or cannot create one), then the only way to sell your product is to layer on incentives, like deep reductions in price or gifts with purchase. I refer to these added incentives as “bribes.” In other words, if you cannot find a way to be “better” than the alternatives, then you need to bribe people to choose you by being cheaper or more convenient than the alternatives.
With this in mind, Planninga From Nanninga helps you in increasing sales by helping you:
1. Identify or create your most marketable Natural Advantages.
2. Make the proper strategic trade-offs in order to extend and strengthen that advantage.
3. Communicate that advantage to the marketplace.
If your natural advantages are weak or illusive, Planning From Nanninga will help you find the right blend of incentives to overcome this problem.