No More Corporate Jargon - Make a Bold Claim
Concepts Learned at Jon Schallert's Destination BootCamp
There is nothing worse than hearing a commercial that uses all the generic words we’ve come to block out as white noise – large selection, affordable products, meeting all your needs. You get the idea. Lots of business owners try to appeal to as many people as possible, and therefore end up sounding just like everyone else in their industry. Instead, your goal as a business owner should be to stand out through a practice called “Unique Positioning,” a term coined by business consultant Jon Schallert of Longmont, Colorado. In other words, no more corporate jargon! Be bold and make a claim if you want to get noticed.
Schallert operates a training event known as the Destination BootCamp, and our team had the privilege of attending in 2019. During this training, the concept of Unique Positioning was fascinating, and made it easy to grasp a concept we’d been recommending to our clients anyway, just not so eloquently.
Schallert says that the goal with unique positioning is to highlight one particular thing about your business that makes you truly unique – something that makes you memorable and interesting. Some companies might already have that one thing that makes them different, and others might have to tweak the way they do things to further develop their unique headline. So to help you better understand how this is done, here are a few examples from Schallert’s Destination BootCamp of what other businesses have done to stand out:
The Big Chocolate Honker
One mouth-watering example was from a small-town bakery that stumbled across their unique positioning statement. Instead of throwing out the extra donut dough at the end of the day, the owner fried up one giant ball of dough and frosted it. She then proudly displayed it on the counter as a sort-of joke for her customers the next day. But when several customers inquired about how much the 5-pound honker cost, she realized she might be onto something. To this day, The Third Street Bakery in Phillipsburg, Kansas is a destination for people seeking out the giant donut glazed with chocolate icing that is served with a loud honk from a bicycle horn on the counter. In this example, they just recognized a unique naming opportunity for a signature product that draws people from hundreds of miles.Check out Third Street Bakery at www.thirdstreetbakery.com..
The World’s Longest Candy Counter
A family owned soda shop and confections store in Littleton, New Hampshire took a huge leap into the big leagues when they figured out that expanding their candy counter would let them claim the title of “World’s Longest Candy Counter.” Now people travel from all over and they’ve expanded the Chutter’s brand with a few other locations as well. In this example, they did the same thing they’ve always done, but in a bigger way to create a unique experience families can’t wait to check out for themselves.
Peace of Mind Guarantee
For the Olympic Hot Tub Company in Washington, they were struggling with closing the sale because many customers had reservations about purchasing a hot tub too quickly – what if they changed their minds about where they put it, what if they couldn’t figure out how to maintain it, what if their electric bill skyrocketed. So they tracked the reasons people struggled to finalize their decision, and developed and trademarked a “Peace of Mind Guarantee” with points that addressed each of the popular concerns customers had to think through. For example, the company promised to move the hot tub within 30 days if the customer changed their mind about where they wanted it. The company also promised to do the maintenance for the first year and to provide only the most energy efficient hot tubs on the market. As a collective unit, this Peace of Mind Guarantee became a unique, nameable opportunity they could advertise, and it helped them bring their average close time from 60 days to 30 days. Learn more about their company and the now-trademarked Peace of Mind Guarantee at www.olympichottub.com.
So now that your wheels are turning, how do you decide exactly what your company’s unique positioning* statement should be? Here are some things to think about:
It should be something that is unique to you and is hard to replicate
What experience do you offer people?
What achievements have you made as an expert in your industry?
What is unique about your history that isn’t true for your competitors?
Do you sell something interesting and unique, or can you rebrand a product so that it sounds more unique?
Have you been doing something longer than anyone else?
Once you’ve identified some ideas for standing out, it’s time to make a claim!
Use power words like “home of,” “largest,” “birthplace of,” “official,” or “first.”
Avoid using words that talk about selection or price. Those can be replicated.
Try ending your unique positioning statement with your location. And go as big as you can support with facts – in the state, in the country, in the world, etc.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to stand out as the owner of your business. Being seen as an expert in your industry is a great way to generate free publicity. Do helpful videos for your customers, write blog articles, give presentations, write editorial content and send it to magazines. Be bold, make a claim, and put yourself out there! People who shop with your business from more than 60 miles away will spend more and be more likely to tell other people about your business. What can you do to be unique, create a memorable experience, provide photo opps, and pull people in with unique positioning? We’d love to hear what you come up with!
*NOTE: Much of the material in this blog post is copyrighted by The Schallert Group, Inc. and we are using it with founder Jon Schallert’s permission. For small businesses, we’d highly encourage you to participate in the Destination BootCamp training events, especially if you work in retail, food service, or any direct-to-consumer industry. Jon is currently enrolling for another event happening Oct. 27-29, and on top of the great information, it’s also a great networking opportunity! Learn more at www.destinationbootcamp.com.