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  • Writer's pictureGordon G. Andrew

Make Your Company a "Safe Choice" to Compete Effectively

The most enduring injustice in marketing is that firms with strong brand recognition are often selected over more qualified, but lesser-known firms. Understanding this market dynamic, and building a marketing strategy to address the underlying human issues, will enable you to compete effectively against larger and better-known competitors.

Because they have skin in the game, decision-makers require a high level of confidence to rationalize their selection of an unknown candidate, and to recommend that candidate to their “boss.” 

Keeping their job will always be more important than selecting the most qualified firm. Regardless of your firm’s size or brand stature, this inherent “career risk” is the key obstacle that must always be overcome.  Here's how: 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 1. Don’t Exclude Your Firm from Consideration

Firms exclude themselves from consideration in two ways. They either ignore the human factor; focusing exclusively on quantitative characteristics of their firm…or never solicit companies considered to be “out of their league.” 

Regardless of the outcome, pitching your firm to tough prospects will increase its effectiveness in those leagues where it's “entitled” to play. You never know a prospect’s current situation or future plans. They may be unhappy with their current large provider, and are seeking a firm that can provide a more personalized level of service. 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 2. Think and Act Like a “Safe Choice”

The quest to be a “safe choice” involves thinking and acting exactly like your most successful competitors. Those characteristics include:

- A well-articulated value proposition that explains why and how your company adds value.

- An effective website that covers “what we believe,” “how we think,” “how we operate,” and includes validation of your credibility.

- Bona fide thought leadership that showcases your firm’s intellectual capital without attempting to sell its products or services.

- Inherent third-party endorsements ranging from published articles in respected publications, to speaking engagements at industry conferences. 

- Top-of-mind awareness through consistent, relevant communication with current and prospective clients and referral sources.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 3. Associate with Established / Trusted Brands

If your company has little or no brand stature, you can change that dynamic by directly associating your firm's brand with specific firms or individuals who already possess market credibility. Achieving this “halo effect” often involves an editorial product or a hosted event that positions your firm’s brand in the same league as the third-party brand(s) you're promoting. 

If your company understands the dynamics of decision-making, and applies effective marketing tactics to build brand stature, it can compete at any level, and is unlikely to remain unknown for very long.


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