Issue #279

Marketing Lessons From The Caribbean?

So, we were down in Belize. And like most port stops that you make while on a cruise, there were things you could buy.

If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know the kinds of stuff we’re talking about. Bags, shirts, jewelry and various knick-knacks.

But, when you’re in the Caribbean, they are much more overt than Americans in terms of their attempt to make a sale. An American is usually more reserved and they’ll sit there and wait for a customer to come in. But, these Caribbean merchants, they’ll sit there in the front of their store and try to wave you in.

But, there’s a little issue…

See, this one place in Belize, I remember it stood out to me as rather funny. We were walking back to our tour bus, but passing a whole row of little booths where locals were hawking their wares.

“Bags! Water! Jewelry”, they would say to us as we walked by.

Next one… same thing.

Then… again.

Essentially, it was a line of these booths. All selling pretty much the same thing. All saying the same thing to us as we walked by. No originality. Nothing to stand out. They all sounded… and looked the same.

They had made themselves into a COMMODITY. Nothing stands out. And so, the only thing that they tried to use to make a sale was location and price.

Oh, and price… any time you try to buy something in one of these places, the price is never… the price. 🙂 Negotiation is part of how things roll there. My wife, being from Russia originally, she likes negotiating and will do so gladly. 🙂

But, they compete on price. Because their stuff looks the same. And their marketing all appears the same.

Aren’t a lot of bloggers sorta doing the same thing?

There are a lot of blogging niches where this happens. They are sorta saying the same thing. In the same way. Nothing comes off as all that original or interesting. I see this in a lot of personal development blogs (and I see my share). The content just feels… generic. Because they don’t know what else to say.

You see some product creators in the same boat. They find they need to rely on sales gimmicks and discounts to make a sale. Just like these people in the Caribbean.

When you have to compete on price, that means you’ve become a commodity. It means your offer isn’t good enough and it doesn’t stand out. And it means your marketing is blending into the noise.

The solution is, of course, to perfect your offer. And do something with your marketing that is different.

These Caribbean vendors could have stood out easily if they put just a bit of thought into what they were doing to get attention. I mean, almost ANYTHING different would have stood out… because they were all doing the same thing.

In Cozumel, we went out and got margaritas. Now, down there, margaritas are all over the place to be had. But, this one place we went to was called Pancho’s Backyard. We actually took a cab to get there. Here’s why…

They have STRONG margaritas. I mean, they don’t hold back on the tequila. So, that right there is a good value proposition, right? 😉

Plus, they have a great environment there. While some of the places near the ship are loud and obnoxious with party people acting stupid, Panchos’ has a nice chill environment, surrounded by gardens. Nice quiet place.

Point is… they were different. So much so that it stood out to my dad from a past experience and we made a point to go there again this time around.

Not offering a different product, but just doing it better.

So, the motto here is…

What can YOU do with your blog and your online business to be different?

It doesn’t mean you have to do a completely different thing than the others. Just find a way to be different. To do it better. To give a unique value proposition.

Then you can compete in competitive markets.

Marketing lessons everywhere to be had. You just gotta look and observe.

– David Risley

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