February 27, 2015
In 1984, Apple Computer aired what is arguably the best commercial ever made (at least up to that date). In it, Apple created a metaphorical war with IBM by comparing Big Blue to Big Brother in the George Orwell novel, “1984.”
This commercial demonstrates the power of analogy and provides one example of how to use it in your business to create a loyal following.
But you can also use analogies to explain what your business does and how you’re different than your competition.
Talking to my business coach yesterday, I said, “Sandy. We’re having a terrible time explaining how we’re different and why we charge more than some of our competitors, and less than others. For example, some template websites cost $100/month and some custom websites are $20,000 or more. How do we explain our place in the middle?”
Sandy replied, “It sounds to me like the difference between a cookie-cutter track house and a custom built home.”
DING!!! (picture a lightbulb above my head) That makes complete sense and it’s easy to understand.
Later in the day, Patrick and I elaborated on the analogy. We decided that $100/month “template websites” are like apartments. Even though the occupant may have decorated differently, everyone has the same floorplan and if you stop paying “rent,” you get evicted.
The next level up is occupied by the solopreneur web designers who network by day and build by night. They’re like the cookie-cutter homes you might find in a new housing development. While you may own your website, it still looks a lot like everyone else’s because most solo web designers don’t have time to make every site they build look different. In fact, many use the same free theme for all of their projects.
Finally, we have the custom website designers. Just like in custom homes, there’s a wide range of options here. Some of our competitors like to build their custom homes in Cherry Hills and Castle Pines. These are big, fancy, fully custom websites with all the bells and whistles.
We like to think of ourselves as building our custom homes in Wash Park or the Highlands. We tear down the old, outdated home that was built years ago and rebuild an updated home with great curb appeal. That’s why our websites cost more than some, but less than others.
See the value of using an analogy? This analogy helped me better understand my own business and I’m sure it’ll help our prospects better understand how we’re different from our competition.
If you use an analogy to describe your business, I’d like to hear about it. In fact, we’ll even share the best analogy on our blog and across our social networks and provide a link back to your website.
If you don’t use an analogy to help explain your differentiator, well, that’s like assembling a puzzle without the picture. It’s possible, but not as easy.
Ok, enough with the analogies!