Imagine this: you're in the market for a new pair of jeans. You typically go for the cheaper ones from a big box store, but they always rip and don't fit that well. You've had your eyes on a pair of denim from a company that uses a type of dye that doesn't poison the local watershed, pays their factory workers a living wage, and uses recycled cotton from old jeans.
And while those initiatives matter to you, you end up choosing to buy the cheaper jeans.
Because denim is a commodity. And there's no risk in buying a commodity.
We've come to expect denim jeans to look, feel, wear, and last a certain way. Your status doesn't go up, but it also doesn't go down. Buying commodity products is predictable, safe, and easy.
If you need to market a product that's similar to a commodity but not exactly, then it's not enough to simply make it better. You also have to present, price, package, and position it as different.
You want to position it in a way such that it's the furthest thing from that commodity.
If you're selling a piece of software for remote teams to work together, don't present it as a video conferencing platform. Those are a dime-a-dozen and are already available for free.
Instead, compare it to traditional office space. This positioning helps your customer to understand what you're really offering - a way for my team to be productive AND build a working culture.
When selling a product that's close to being a commodity, you have to present it as an alternative to that commodity. Everything about the brand story has to be different, including how you make your customer's life easier / simpler / more comfortable.
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