I recently purchased a pair of authentic Vintage Versace sunglasses online. During my online search, I was amazed at the number of fake designer sunglasses advertised on the Internet. In fact, there were more websites dedicated to promoting and avoiding counterfeit products than there were sites selling genuine designer products.
What does this tell you?
The market for rip-offs and counterfeit items is huge. According to industry experts, spending on “knock-off” designer goods eclipses the amount actually spent on the real thing. So much so, that if you see someone on the street with Versace, Hermes or Fendi products, there’s only a 1 in 100 chance that it’s authentic.
How does this impact your business?
Unfortunately, a lot of consumers would rather invest a little to give the appearance that they appreciate quality. Like designer products, some services and products in your industry, “the fakes,” are inferior, but customers choose them anyway to maintain a facade. It’s a quick-fix, easy path to looking successful but it lacks the necessary investment of time and money required to be successful.
Therefore, in order to stand out in a marketplace where imitations are plentiful, create a competitive advantage based on authenticity and do the exact opposite of what your competition is doing.
Where their message is confusing, yours must be simple.
When they are selling features and benefits, you must present the solution.
While they are focused on their brand, you must identify the customer’s pain and cure it.
Where their claims are unsubstantiated, yours must be tangible.
There will always be a long list of competitors to satisfy an insatiable appetite for the “counterfeit.” And in the end, a buyer will always get exactly what they paid for. However, if you continue to compete based on price alone, or intangible claims, ninety-nine percent of your customers will assume that you aren’t the real deal either.
Rest assured. Your customer will have pain points that ultimately cannot be fixed with replicas and quick-fixes. Eventually, the pain will become so acute that he or she will seek out your genuine solution.
Make it easier for customers to find you by presenting a clear message that helps them to recognize, decide and say “yes” to your real solutions. Help prospects recognize your authentic value proposition – put a fair price on what you do, provide tangible proof your product or service works and then deliver on your promise.
Photo Credit: Zara