The Stereotype Lives

I was reviewing a client’s web site and checking some of the reviews on Yahoo and yelp, when I ran into this quote describing the client’s center, which stopped me dead in my tracks: “Pretty much like any other bowling alley. Food drink etc. Just something to do on a rainy day.”

What was so surprising was the fact that this client had just spent about $750,000 renovating his center and bringing it up to and above standard, yet here was a consumer saying that it was like the other centers in the area and bowling was just something to do on a rainy day; in other words, no big deal one way or the other.

Of all the quotes I have read, this one seemed to be more disturbing than others.

One, to this consumer, bowling was pretty much generic with no real differentiating variables between one center and the next, at least not in this statement. 

And second, bowling was an indoor activity that was to be played only when the weather FORCED you inside.

If this quote is an example of what people really think about bowling and the bowling centers in the area, then we have a very serious problem and the problem is called “stereotyping.”

Stereotyping comes about because customers cannot see a difference between us and our competition. That is a direct result of “lack of product differentiation” in the customers’ minds.  And they come to their conclusion rightly; we have done a poor job of sharpening our own saw. 

We make no attempt to separate ourselves from other centers.  Other than the price between our center and Jimmy Bob’s bowling alley down the street, well, thats all the customer hears and therefore the only difference he sees is price…and that confuses him even further.  

If its the same product in the consumer’s mind, why are there different prices at each place? Why are there different prices at different times and why is it thats where we have come to…a one bullet price strategy.

This is our challenge. To learn how to build our individual center’s brand so it stands for something that can’t be eroded by a competitor’s pricing strategy  so the consumer knows what it means and HOW it benefits her either by solving a problem or making her happier.

Brand building isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to know what you are doing.  You have to have a plan and you have to execute flawlessly.

What ever happened to that brand called “My Space?”  Oh its still there, but bad brand promotion has led to this once popular site just about tanking.  

Time to sharpen your saw.

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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