Over the weekend I held my annual Halloween party. Every year I strive to have the best costume, and I usually spend a decent amount of money in the process. This year I wasn’t sure what to be… I wanted to be the Joker, because I knew I could have one of the best (if not the best) costumes … but on the other hand, it’s the hottest costume this season and others might also be wearing it. So I went ahead with the Joker anyway. I searched out the best costumes on ebay, got the best wig, even purchased a great pair of latex scars… then the day of the party I went to a make up artist to make the costume perfect. The end result… everyone loved the costume, and no one else showed up as the Joker anyway!
So what’s the point… the point is, no matter how many other people are doing something, as long as you are the best at it, you will succeed. This just as easily applies to business and online marketing as well. Many of the best companies out there today aren’t the best because they were the first, but because they were creative or did what others could not. Here are just a few examples of how BIG MONEY and FIRSTS are losing against better concepts and quality services.
Affiliate Marketing Example:
SHARE A SALE vs. COMMISSION JUNCTION
For anyone familiar with affiliate marketing and affiliate networks, you may know Shareasale and Commission Junction. These are two very large affiliate networks, but with two very different stories. Shareasale was started years ago by Brian Littleton and has slowing grown into a five person company, while Commission Junction has a lot of employees and was purchased for millions by ValueClick. Shareasale is one of the most loved affiliate networks out there, simply because they put the effort forth to make sure their affiliates and merchants are happy, and they are banking huge with it! Commission Junction has some of the bigger names out there, but they are more expensive, harder to get in touch with… and you will never get the same love from this multi-million dollar company.
AMAZON vs. BARNESANDNOBLE
Think back a decade ago, what were the largest books stores everyone knew about? Barnes&Nobles were the big thing. Who would have though Amazon.com would have crushed such a huge and established business online. Not only did Amazon.com have a great shopping cart and customer walk through, they also took charge with their associates program (to bring in massive business), then expanded to millions of new products outside of just books. Amazon went from being nothing, to being the best!
PerezHilton vs. TMZ/Big Media
We all know Perez Hilton, and his story of how he was recently fired and out of work, then started up his celebrity gossip blog while in a coffee shop. How inspirational is that! While other big media companies are spending millions of dollars on print magazine and advertising… Perez has his close friend and connections and using his laptop to getting access to millions of viewers daily and millions of dollars in his pocket. Now he is the celebrity!
SAW Series vs. $300 Million Movies
It’s been five years now since the first SAW movie was released into theaters… and each has been a huge hit! What SAW realized was, how to make a great movie, with a great storyline, and not having to spend mega millions to do it. Their original SAW movie, had a production budget of $1.2 million, and ended up grossing $103 million world wide. Saw 5 recently came out this week… and is the last in the series. The previous four Saw movies had a total production cost of less than $30 million, but went on to make over $550 million world wide. Over the past few years, the best world wide grossing movies have had production costs in excess of $100 million!
Always remember, just because someone is already doing something… you can always strive to do it better. How many social networks are out there today? Think of the best ones and how you could make them better. This applies to all forms of advertising and services. Competition is good for business, and it keeps us all on our toes. Keep the customer happy and go beyond their expectations and they will keep coming back for more.