Tips to help your business stand out from the crowd
by Peter Switzer
The renowned US business thinker, Peter Drucker, made the point all would-be entrepreneurs need to take on board, that “business has only two functions — marketing and innovation”.
Right now, as evidenced by the most recent federal election, a sizeable chunk of Australians are different from what might be called a typical Australian. The Greens attracted 20 per cent or more of the primary vote in some seats and this is a similar number that a US poll came up with for those people who wanted healthy ingredients in their fast food.
As an economist, I know there are lies, lies and damn statistics, but I believe there is a good chance that one in five Australians want better quality food, affordable cars like the Prius, a healthy Murray-Darling basin and an ETS to fix up the environment. And they are prepared to pay extra to get what they want.
It doesn’t mean that the other 80 per cent will become like them but I suspect over time the 20 per cent will become 30 per cent and grow even greater as more and more people die of heart attacks and diabetes, pollution gets worse and the science of the Greens becomes more credible than it is right now.
These views of mine are neither political nor scientific, but it is a bi-product of gut feel and a discernible trend in the market. And there are entrepreneurs out there right now trying to anticipate these trends in the alternative energy, alternative medicine and food space, just to name a few.
Opportunities for entrepreneurs
When governments start legislating change, such as labelling the ingredients in food dishes at junk food chains, it creates opportunities for entrepreneurial minds.
The crackdown on cigarettes via education programs and taxes has created a new industry of nicotine patches and gum. And as carbon taxes push up the cost of electricity, those in the solar panel business will be the Johnnies on the spot.
At the heart of every great entrepreneurial story I have covered over 25 years, as Drucker pointed out, it was an innovation followed up by great marketing.
John Symond saw the monopolies of the banks and how much money they were making on home loans. He then took the financial industry innovation of securitisation, which gave him an alternative source of funding at reasonable prices to then undercut the big four banks by two per cent.
That innovation then had to be marketed and while most remember his famous unique selling proposition or slogan: “At Aussie, we’ll save you”; the fact is he used the newsworthy nature of his business and public relations in his early days to build the unforgettable brand of Aussie Home Loans.
One of the smartest marketing ploys I have seen was when Janine Allis’s Boost Juice Bars gave away a franchise on a radio station. Janine said it cost them $300,000 — the price of a franchise — but they got over a million dollars of advertising in terms from the radio station.
Innovate and market
As in this case, some entrepreneurs find that their innovation becomes their marketing tool. I once came across a women’s clothes shop that put in comfortable chairs and sports magazines so the husbands or boyfriends would not pester their partners while they were shopping.
The best in business live and breathe innovations to stand out from the crowd and then they market their socks off to make sure that their business dream becomes a reality.
Business success is all about attitude and a constant attention to innovation as well as marketing.
Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
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Published on: Tuesday, November 23, 2010blog comments powered by Disqus