When there is little competition, business is easy and brute force advertising, using lots of money, works. But, when the going gets tough, brute force is destined for failure.
When the competition intensifies, differentiation decides success or failure. A few large companies may survive by increasing brute force, but most will fail. Companies that differentiate themselves and their service or their products will not only survive, but will succeed.
When the first IBM PC came on the market, there was little competition and IBM had the funds for brute force advertising. When the competition got tough years later, brute force advertising stopped working and instead of differentiating their product, IBM simply pulled out of the PC market.
Today, PCs manufactured by tens of thousands of unknown companies are sold in stores and on the Internet everywhere. What differentiates these computers in the minds of consumers? Only one thing. Price. When a consumer purchases one of these computers, the consumer will look for a computer with a level of functionality in their price range and may then look for the cheapest product.
Apple is the only company that used design to differentiate their computers. Apple computers are the most expensive, and their operating system was not as suitable as the Windows operating system for most people and many software products wouldn’t run on it. Years ago, some industry analysts predicted the demise of Apple Computer, but people bought them because of their design. Now, their computers are more compatible and their TV advertising cleverly proclaims that by differentiating their computers from all others. Even their TV commercials stands out with very clever ads using people to play the part of a computer.
The Sony Walkman was all the rage years ago. Did you even know it is still sold today? It was a great product, but was easily copied. The Apple iPod had a unique appealing design that everyone wanted and today, iPod is the only name in MP3 players. Unlike IBM, at least Sony has learned to differentiate their product. Today, they sell the Walkman Bean which is made in the shape of a bean and comes in hot colors.
According to Amy Churgin, Publisher of Architectural Digest, the magazine achieved success by showing homes of stars to differentiate themselves from other magazines.
Do you want your business to be successful? Note that I said business, not law practice. First, run your law practice like a business. Then, find a way to DIFFERENTIATE your law firm from the competition. How are you going to differentiate your law firm? The early years are over, competition among lawyers is already stiff.