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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reasons to Favor a Product or Service

What distinguishes one business from another for consumers? Seems like a short list:

  • Convenience, how easy to get to or use the product or service
  • Price, how much it costs
  • Knowledge, how knowledgeable the staff is
  • Pleasantness, how pleasant the staff and sales environment is
  • Quality, how well the product is made or the service provided
  • Uniqueness, how different the product or service is, a niche  item, perhaps


Many stores are available or the website is easy to use. Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks are ubiquitous, Look! There’s one over there!


Surprisingly, price seems to sit lower on the consumer’s list than other items. People care, but don’t they get dazzled by other features? Is the iPod really the best mp3 player? I certainly never gave the question a chance, I ran right to the Apple  Store.


Customers appreciate knowledgeable help but may end up making do with the knowledge base at Big Box stores. The wine store where I worked had a strong reputation for supplying knowledge to customers, we all knew what we were talking about. Our clientele was largely loyal, but they would head to Costco or New Hampshire State Liquor Stores for super prices on those items that they knew about.


Whole Foods offers a more pleasant shopping experience than other supermarkets. The stores are clean, and the staff is encouraged to be friendly. That makes a diff.


People appreciate unique approaches, so long as they understand the point of the uniqueness. The Apple Store only sells Apple products, but the space age look of the place and the superfluity of knowledgeable staff makes it a different place to shop.

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Bottom line, identify the salient aspect of your business. The wine store that I worked at was competitive in price, but it was our knowledgeable staff, our delivery service, and our business ethics that put us on the map.

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