Weekly Column: 2017-01-06

In today's marketplace products and services are becoming more alike than ever before and business growth is exploding. Businesses spend weeks and months attempting to make their services and products stand out with new features or the expansion of their line. The bottom line, as competitors continue to differentiate from each other they end up the same!

With new technology for communication through apps, businesses are spending a great deal more time communicating with their customers as well as through social media sites and online marketing. Unfortunately, businesses seem to focus too much on what makes their product different from their competitors rather than what their consumers want. 

In today's marketplace, companies seem to stay on the same old established standards when in reality, there are no standards anymore. Instead, a company should focus on what sets them apart from the average. Consumers focus in on what companies have the most successful marketing plan that sets them apart from the rivals.

Ikea Vs Other Furniture Stores:

Although everyone equates Ikea as a poor product line in furniture, dismal shipping policies, and the consumer must assemble the items they are buying! While other furniture stores compete through excellent customer service, high-quality furniture, and free shipping Ikea is selling like mad! They have provided cool designs that are super inexpensive, giving consumers the idea that it's worth the assembly of the products.

For many years, stores relied on catalogs for their marketing endeavors. Today, places like Ikea rely on the internet, using social media to market their goods such as Facebook or Instagram. With well laid out images of their furniture, assembled, they show consumers how easily their product will fit into their homes. Consumers see Ikea furniture everywhere through their cellphones, laptops, etc., they can easily visualize the furniture in their homes and race off to Ikea's stores to fill their homes with inexpensive furniture.

While on their site, consumers can go through multiple showrooms that showcase the products in various rooms. Their entire store is set up like a maze giving buyers the ability to pick various items and then easily head to checkout. This format is very enticing to the buyer and in turn, they will impulsively spend. Even though online purchasing is huge, many consumers will visit a local Ikea store so they can experience the actual products up close and personal. This leaves a really strong impression on consumers regarding the Ikea brand.

Although, by nature, new ideas and things can leave many consumers skeptical. When items are packaged through good marketing plans even the most negative will come across as a positive. That said, a consumer's perception has altered to originality and uniqueness to grab their attention. This has businesses scrambling to etch out their own road toward success instead of following like sheep in the standard practice of marketing.