Succeeding in business can only be done one way:
A Success Story
Having come up with a new product to sell almost three years ago, I was able to start Jamie's Painting & Design. It was a new way to personalize a child's room and we marketed it to boutiques, then websites, then bedding catalogs. Soon other products came on the market with a similar look, and or feel. Sometimes they copied my themes (please don't make me go there again), other times 'same concept but different medium'. I could not win on product alone.
Lowering our prices to get the customer back seemed like a good strategy. We played around with the idea, but decided against it. Reason was, if we were selling on price and our sales may have picked up for a short time - our competitors would have done the same - a price war. Our margins now suck and our brand is losing it's integrity, it's quality and we are not making any money. We could not afford to do this. I could not win on price.
What did we do? Nothing.
Stay the Course
We already had great customer service, our customers are very happy. They come back. Our sales channels are happy, they always get their problems fixed (yes all companies have problems). We go the extra mile, where our competition won't go. Include a coupon in direct sales, free gift wrap, rewards to repeat customers, or just a friendly voice and kind word when they call our office. The customer may not always be right, but we always try to make it right. We fix problems immediately, we take blame when we screwed up, we send notes to apologize, we return calls and emails promptly. I always try to think how would I want to be treated if I were the customer. We won on service. I am not saying this is easy...
Selling on Service is the only way to win in Business.
This is the way to succeed.
My husband always tell me (usually while I am ranting about something) that if it was easy EVERYBODY would start their own business. Not sure if that makes me feel any better....but it is so true.