Two men kick boxing in a ring

The best way to beat your wedding business is to eliminate them.

No, I’m not talking about “rubbing them out” Soprano’s style.  (Though that would certainly do the trick, it wouldn’t do wonders for your reputation.)  The kind of “elimination” I’m talking about is to simply not compete with them.

The competition is only a threat when they either a) have something you don’t have that makes your business somehow “inadequate” b) you’re services are perceived as exactly the same.

You can truly stand out from your competition and beat them at their own game by becoming so different in the eyes of the market that you aren’t even competing with them anymore.  

It’s like comparing a Mac and a PC (no worries, I’m not going to touch that one!)  Both are computers, but the experience is completely different and each services a completely different customer set.

How can you stand out different from your competition?

Reinventing the USP

The concept of the “Unique Selling Proposition” is phenomenally effective, but the term has been overused and tossed around so much in the marketing-verse that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore.  Plus, could you think of a less sexy name?

In case you’re not familiar, to create a USP you take three biggest benefits of your service and turn them into a unique statement of your value that’s completely different from the competition.

There’s just one critical piece missing…

It doesn’t matter what YOU think the benefit of your service is…it matters what your CLIENT sees as the benefit.  

And to get to that level of benefit you have to really understand the problem your bride is facing and the real benefit she’s trying to get from your service.

The other problem is that most “USPs” are not at all unique.  They’re boring and they mean nothing to your potential client.

Here’s a link to an article about How to Create Your USP and examples of some great ones.

Domino’s Pizza is the classic example of a $1 Billion dollar USP.  “Hot, fresh pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free.”

Instead of calling by the played out name of USP, how about we call it an Irresistible Offer?

What do you have that no one else has?  What can you offer the bride that no one else is offering?  What does the bride want more than anything…and how can you promise to deliver it in one sentence?

This isn’t something you can come up with overnight.  It takes a little digging, but once you find your Irresistible Offer, you’ll know because the brides will light up as soon as they hear/read/see it.

5 Steps to Standing Out From Your Competition with an Irresistible Offer

Step 1 – Figure out what your ideal bride really wants.

What need does she have that your product or service provides the solution for?

If she’s looking for a photographer, I hate to tell you this, but she doesn’t want a photographer.  She wants to be able to relive her wedding day forever and capture all those moments.  It just happens to be that photos are necessary to do this.

If she’s looking for a band or DJ, she doesn’t want a band or DJ.  She doesn’t even want music!  She wants her guests to dance and have fun all night so that she feels special.

Step 2 – Identify the assets of your business you can use to give the bride what she really wants.

Your assets can be physical products, skills that you have, or specific services you provide.  They can also be your personality, communication or experience.

Step 3 – For each of those assets, list the specific benefits they provide for your client.  (Not a benefit for you, for your client.)

The benefit may be physical or emotional.  Don’t skip the emotional ones because they are very powerful.  Drill deep until you get to the real benefit for your client.

An example for a DJ business:

Asset – a library of 100,000 songs

Benefit – can play pretty much any genre you want, can take requests from guests, (going deeper) flexibility to keep guests on the dance floor having fun, (going deeper still) variety that expresses the uniqueness of your personality through music selection…

Step 4 – Create your Irresistible Offer by meeting the bride’s biggest needs by using your assets to give her the benefit she really wants.

Do this by answering this question:

How can I use my assets to give the bride the benefit she really wants and wrap it up into one statement so that when she hears it she squeals with excitement and relief?

Your Irresistible Offer should be:

  • Something none of your competitors offer.
  • Totally focused on the dream solution the bride wants.
  • Be something you can actually promise or deliver.

Step 5 – Use this Irresistible Offer in your marketing.

Put your Irresistible Offer on your website, business card, brochures, in your advertisements.  Become known for it in your local market.

Test out the offer first and see what the response is from potential customers.  Hint: if you don’t get a powerful reaction, you haven’t found it yet.  A great Irresistible Offer will get a smile, laugh, sigh or, “That’s exactly what I’m looking for!” response.

An Example from the Bridal Industry

Let’s brainstorm a wedding planner’s Irresistible Offer.

The wedding planner determines that her brides really want the kind of high-end gorgeous weddings they see on television and in bridal magazine, but their challenge is that they just can’t afford it.

She considers her assets, among them an uncanny ability to reproduce luxury wedding designs, and her fearless negotiating ability.

Her question, “How can I use my ability to reproduce high-end designs and negotiate for the best prices to give brides a luxury wedding on a budget?”

She comes up with this Irresistible Offer:

“We’ll give you a platinum wedding on a $10k budget or our services are free.”

Of course, that’s a pretty big promise to make…but if she can pull it off, brides will be flocking to her door.

Find Your Irresistible Offer Today

I’m thrilled that you actually read to the end of this blog post!  It means that you now have a tremendous opportunity to do something amazingly powerful for your business.

That is…if you DO it.

Print out this PDF and use it out to create your Irresistible Offer.  It will transform your business.

Then leave me a comment and tell me about what you learned!

Photo Credit

 

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Posted By

Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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2 thoughts on “What Is the Best Way to Beat the Competition?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to say this but figuring out what a bride wants is just as easy as doing a weather forecast for the whole summer…
    We as vendors are not helping much either as we offer sometimes a bewildering array of services we tout as being “essential” for their wedding.
    Come to think of it these trends we set today will look so outdated and tacky tomorrow it’s not funny.

    Just my two cents…

    Regards,
    Bogdan

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great article Jeff! If you’re doing something unique, someone will notice, and if you’re doing it well, and it’s what people are looking for, you’ll have success.

    My only note on this great piece would be that I think there is a “c” to the question of whether or not your competitors are a threat: protecting your Unique Selling Proposition. Apparently, it is much easier to cut and paste a photo or text off of a website and claim it as your own than it is to create something new and original. Since I began my business, I have had photos stolen twice and the entire text of my website stolen as well. If your business operates within driving distance of my own, how did you think I wouldn’t notice this? Worse yet, it makes me wonder if there are other instances of copyright infringement out there I don’t even know about!

    Take the time to search the Internet for your unique images, phrases, slogans, names, etc. Use services like Copyscape and Tineye to help. Most thieves who are too lazy to do anything more than find / replace their name with yours in text or cut a watermark or caption off a photo will also be too lazy to put up much of a fight when caught and will make an excuse and remove the stolen property. But customers may become very confused when they see the same images and text over and over again, leading them to a lack of trust in your originality.

    Protect yourself–it’s the wild, wild west out there.

    Of course, the best protection is to have good networking in the industry. If your competitors are your friends, you know you won’t have any issues there. Then it’s only a fly-by-night or newbie vendor you will need to worry about online.

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