You have a business selling T-shirts. There are another 9 businesses selling T-shirts. And for arguments sake we’re gonna keep this simple and say that in your market the internet doesn’t exist, and only white T-shirts exist. And let’s say everything else is the same- the place you sell them from, the number of staff each of you have etc etc.
So all up there’s 10 businesses in your market selling T-shirts.
Right now you have a 1 in 10 chance of a customer choosing to buy a T-shirt from you.
One day, you discover dye and decide to start producing black T-shirts instead.
And overnight your sales increase from selling 10 T-shirts a day, to selling 50 T-shirts a day. Which means that your chances of customers buying a T-shirt from you instead of your competitors is now 1 in 2.
Because now you’ve just re-framed how customers make their decision. Instead of evaluating each T-shirt provider separately, they now select between 2 options; between black T-shirts & white T-shirts.
And assuming an equal number of people prefer black T-shirts to white- that means you’ll get half of all the business from customers wanting T-shirts.
Sounds simple right?
In theory yes. But in reality no.
IN REALITY all these businesses selling white T-shirts wouldn’t realise they’re all selling white T-shirts.
They’d all think they were unique. Extra thread count on this T-shirt! Better service on this one- they all come freshly pressed and ironed! Ours are more comfortable with no scratchy seams!
So they’d not even consider making their business unique- because they think it already is.
But to most people buying their products, they don’t think these factors are that important (if they even notice the differences at all)- they’re all just white T-shirts.
Does this sound familiar?
Haven’t we all heard businesses emphasise their superior service? Or their superior features? And either think yeah right! Or just have our eyes glaze over being given such irrelevant detail?
Or worse…could this be your business without you realising it?
IN REALITY black T-shirts exist. So we already knew in our theoretical example that there is demand for black T-shirts.
So what could you do in reality to make your business unique if you had a T-shirt business?
You’d have to find something that wasn’t already being done by others, as well as make sure that people would actually want it.
Could you even be sure that people would want it if what you’re about to do hasn’t been done in your market before?
IN REALITY markets aren’t as simple as they are in theory. There’s other alternatives available such as singlets, strapless tops, and opportunities to go shop online.
So would what you’re about to do be preferable to not only your competitors, but every other alternative out there?
IN REALITY things aren’t quite so simple and easy, but if it were easy then everyone would be doing it. And if everyone were doing it, they may have already snapped up some of the best opportunities. And in that case it would be even more difficult to hunt for opportunities than it is now.
So hop along- get hunting!