In today's increasingly competitive marketplace, the demand for specialized products or services will increase. If your business sells everything or to everyone, chances are your audience will not perceive any greater value in buying from you than from anyone else. If so, price becomes the only metric by which visitors will compare you to others.

Keep in mind that price is not important. It is an arbitrary figure that merely represents the value of an offering. When you compare apples to apples, the only point of comparison is price since it is the only real, visible distinction between the two. Thus, if *your* value is perceived as equal to that of others, naturally the cheapest alternative will win.

Price is only a metric -- a currency to which most people can relate. Take the weather, for example. When you meet someone on the street, it will likely be a topic of discussion because the weather is a common denominator. Temperature is the same for everyone. "Hot" and "cold," however, are different.

Similarly, price is only used when there's nothing to which one can compare your value. (Of course, price is not the only metric. But most people understand units of dollars more than they do value, which is more subjective.) Therefore, if you're too similar to competitors, price will always be an issue.

The more unique you are, the less competition you will have. And the less competition you will have, the less substitutable you are (or your product is). And the less substitutable you are, the less elastic the demand for your product will be (in other words, the less important price becomes, in this case).

So, if you are copying your competition, or trying to promote your offering as one that's better than your competition, like it or not you're only reminding people of that which you are better: your competition. So, don't duplicate, differentiate! Or as Earl Nightingale once said, "Don't copy, create!"

Being all things to all people will likely help you to stumble onto some people who will visit your site and respond to your offer. It's the law of averages. But the underlying problem is that, with such an approach, you must generate a substantial quantity of hits in order to produce an acceptable result.

Also, the more general or broad you are, the greater the need will be to paint your website, content and marketing messages with broad brushstrokes in order to appeal to everyone. In the end, the traffic generated will be just as general or broad.

Sign up for free to read the full article.

Take the first step (it's free).

Already a registered user? Sign in now.


Michel Fortin of is a professor in marketing at Algonquin College (Ottawa, Canada), an author, a professional speaker and a marketing/ecommerce consultant.