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Marketing Myopia — What Business Are You In?
Theodore Levitt first published his thoughts on Marketing Myopia in the Harvard Business Review.
Myopia is defined as narrow sightedness and/or a lack of foresight.
In business, Marketing Myopia refers to the inability to determine what business you are really in.
Example, are the oil companies in the oil business or the energy business?
When oil companies realized that there were in the business of energy, they began expanding to find other markets and approaches. In doing so, they achieved greater profit.
It's not always easy to determine what business you are in. For example, when you think of cosmetic companies your natural reaction is to say they are in the beauty business. At first glance, this would seem correct but upon closer inspection you will notice that cosmetic companies are actually in the business of hope because the customers hope they will be more beautiful.
When you understand what business you are in, not only does it allow you to open your doors to other opportunities, such as the oil companies expanding into a full range of energy services and products, but additionally, when you understand what business you are in it helps you create better advertising just as the cosmetic companies could create better advertisements to tap into the hope of being beautiful.
Most businesses are not what they appear to be upon first glance. Are airlines in the travel business or the hospitality business?
An airline just doesn't take you somewhere and they are just not a carrier. They do more and by realizing what business they are in the airlines can better create onboard services that appeal to their customers.
AtProsperity Names, as an example, we are not in the consulting business. We are in the business of helping to bring clarity to business especially in terms of business names and which ones to use.
Marketing Myopia... what business are you really in?
USP and What It Means To You
USP stands for unique selling proposition.
A unique selling proposition is a marketing concept that was first created in the 1940's. The purpose of a unique selling proposition is to effectively distinguish your business from others. In other words, you want to let your customers know exactly what you offer or provide.
Many people get very fancy or cute with their mottos or slogan. But when you think in terms of a unique selling proposition, then you will create a much more focused statement so your customers know exactly what you are offering.
Don't be cute when creating your unique selling proposition. People must understand what benefit they are getting.
At Prosperity Names our unique selling proposition is "Easily Create Successful Business Names". You can't get much more clear than that.
Your unique selling proposition doesn't have to be 1 line or 1 sentence. It can longer if needed.
Just make sure you tell people exactly why they should buy from you.
A unique selling proposition isn't just a motto or slogan either. You can use a unique selling proposition in your web site, in your descriptive text for advertisements, etc.
Let's consider that you are a garden center selling plants.
In your advertisement you might say:
"Shop at Happy Harold's Garden Center for a huge selection of plants. Visit us today. You won't be disappointed."
At first glance, this seems okay but it is not unique! Too many people are like parrots repeating what others have said. Let's make this a unique selling proposition:
"Happy Harold's Garden Center provides you with 25 varieties of roses, 10 varieties of magnolias and more than 100 species of perennials. In total we have 200 species of plants to choose from. Visit us today. We know you will be fully satisfied with what we offer you in terms of variety, but also service, knowledge and professionalism."
Your unique selling proposition neither needs to be long nor short. It depends on what medium you are using to advertise. For example, a radio or TV advertisement only allows 30 seconds and so you will need to have a short, clear and concise unique selling proposition.
With a web site it is also good to have a short unique selling proposition to capture the person's attention immediately. Once you have their attention then you can build upon it within the descriptive text.
What Makes A Powerful Sentence?
- There are two parts to a powerful statement. The qualitative and the quantitative part of the sentence.
- Most people only use the qualitative part of a sentence. By adding the quantitative part you will make your sentence more powerful.
- The qualitative part of a sentence is the words you use to provide a good description.
- The quantitative part of a sentence provides a number or a figure so the mind can see the size of the qualitative part.
- My new car is very powerful.
- My new car with its 1000 horsepower engine is very powerful.
Karma Yoga and Business:
- In karma yoga we know that we must do everything with love.
- If you go into business then make sure you love what you are doing.
- While you need to be focused on the results, do not be attached to the results.
- Your expectations will only create disappointments. So work without expectations but do have a plan, a guide... something to point you in the right direction.
- While you don't want to be focused on the results, but rather on the doing, you still need to make a profit. In karma yoga, it's important to understand what your duty is in life. As a businessperson, your duty is to make money. That's your job and that's your duty. So do it.
- In karma yoga there is no such thing as good karma, only bad karma. You make bad karma when you do something selfishly. An example would be giving money to a beggar with the expectations that in giving the money that you will create good karma for doing a good deed. But in giving the money with the expectation of something good happening, you have just done a selfish deed and have instead created bad karma. If you are going to give, give for no reason at all.
- In business, the whole point is to make deals and sales to benefit yourself and your business. As this is the nature of business, there is no bad karma created when you do your duty.
- It is your duty to make money. So have fun and work hard.
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