Are You Past Your Prime?

When we talk about having a strong USP–a Unique Selling Proposition– one of the examples we include is your ability to compete on price.

Of course, most people mistakenly assume that we’re talking about competing as the lowest-price option, when, you can carve out a strong position as a premium-priced provider of your product or service...as long as you can justify the price in terms of the value your customers, clients, or members will receive for their investment.

In fact, competing by attempting to dominate the low-cost segment of any market can lead to its own set of complications. Walmart, for example, unseated K-Mart as the low-cost national retailer–a position it had held for a long time.

But if you live by “low price,” you can also become a victim of it, as Walmart is now discovering. And who is this giant slayer that’s beginning to encroach on the mighty Walmart empire? Amazon.com.

Walmart may have “everyday low prices,” but I still have to trek down to the store, battle the crowds for a parking spot, and deal with long lines at the register. Why would I want to bother with that when I can compare prices, read reviews, and, at least for the time being, not pay any sales tax by ordering from Amazon?

Even Easier with Amazon Prime...
If you’ve ever ordered anything from Amazon.com (and most of you have) you’re probably familiar with the extraordinary upsell techniques they’ve built into the system, including, “Free Shipping with a $25 Order.”

But what’s better than free ground shipping? How about free second-day shipping?

Amazon Prime, a service with over 10 million members, offers some very attractive features including:

  • Free two-day shipping on many items
  •  No minimum order size
  • Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
  •  Free Kindle books you can borrow each month

Amazon Prime in Action...
Recently, we added some audiovisual components into our new house, so I needed a few HDMI cables for the TV. I could drive 20 minutes to Best Buy and pay around $9 each for them; I could drive 10 minutes to Walmart and pay around $8 each...or I could go online to Amazon.com and order the “AmazonBasics 2-Pack, High-Speed HDMI Cable” package for $10, with free second-day shipping and no sales tax.

If that’s not enough, I can get the Amazon channel on my Roku player (a device that hooks up to your TV and lets you stream TV shows and movies through your Wi-Fi connection) and get instant access to over 5,000 free
movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video.

You can watch all of these titles on whatever device you want: your TV, your Smartphone, or your tablet. And an annual subscription is just $79– even less for college students!

And a Bonus Marketing Lesson:
The whole concept of Amazon Prime offers some important marketing lessons you can implement in your own organization:

1. Get people to pay in advance for an annual service.
2. Make it easy for them to do business with you more frequently by offering incentives–in this case, free two-day shipping.
3. Offer a compelling reason to make yourself the first choice when people are looking for your products and services.

As we’re fond of saying, great marketing examples are all around–you just need to pay attention. Any time you see something that makes you sit up and take notice; any time you come across an interesting marketing piece, you should immediately ask yourself how you can adapt it for use in your own marketing efforts.