Markets are crowded. No matter what you do, there will be competition vying for your market share. That’s the nature of free enterprise. However, the strength of free enterprise as a system lies in the ability to build and protect your reputation.
But what would you rather be known for? Consistency or uniqueness? Which trademark should your consumer PR strive for?
These are questions that keep many business owners up at night. Would they rather be known for exceptional – but consistent – quality and service, or would their customers prefer to be surprised by true greatness from time to time?
The debate rages even as social media and multimedia digital devices have turned traditional marketing inside out. On the surface, shock and awe seem like the new standard…but is it, really?
Let’s take a look at the pros of both consistency and uniqueness:
- This provides comfort for your customers
- Consistency inspires loyalty – people love to know what to expect
- People can define your quality and know where you “fit”
- Helps people make easy decisions
- This gets people talking and gives them something interesting to say
- Provides pop, punch and all sorts of action verbs
- Uniqueness promotes responsiveness from customers
- They may love you or hate you, but they will remember you
Bottom line, do people prefer Old Faithful or random volcanoes? Answer: It depends on the people. Both have their place in most markets. Consider, extreme sport skydivers are some of the most random and excitable people on the planet, but they want their gear consistent. The chute better open, right? Readers, on the other hand, love to curl up with a cozy book. But they are also open to reading new things and, thus, experiencing new things. See where we’re going with this?
Ronn Torossian concludes that the entire question is flawed. You need not choose between consistency or uniqueness. In areas of quality and service, you need to excel at consistency. In areas of entertainment and curiosity, don’t be afraid to try new things.
Of course all this good advice can blow up in your face if you fail to communicate your direction or plans in a way your customers can connect with.
“PR is a mix of journalism,
psychology, and lawyering - it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.”
Ronn is the CEO of 5WPR and author of best selling PR book, For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations, and a regular contributor to Fox News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Insights Wired, Everything-PR and more.