iStock_000003351439SmallAlthough you may like to think you are creatively captivating your consumer with your communications, allow me to drop a mind-blowing bomb…  Did you know that your current marketing messages are falling on the deaf ears of approximately 98% of your prospects?

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I recently purchased a pair of authentic Vintage Versace sunglasses online  and was amazed at the number of fake designer sunglasses and handbags advertised  on the internet. In fact, there are more videos and websites dedicated to  promoting and avoiding counterfeit products than there are sites selling genuine  designer items.

What does this tell you?

The market for rip offs and counterfeit items is huge. According to  fashionistas, editors and bloggers in the industry, the total spending on fake  or “knock-off” designer goods eclipses the amount actually spent on the real  thing. In fact, if you see someone on the street with a Versace, Hermes or Fendi  bag, there’s only a 1 in 100 chance that it’s authentic.  Customers prefer replicas.

So how does this impact you and your business?

Unfortunately, many consumers would rather invest a little to give the appearance that they appreciate quality. The fakes are inferior, but many customers choose them anyway because they want to maintain a facade. They want the quick fix – the easy path to looking successful but few want to make the necessary investment of time and money, required to BE successful.

In order to stand out in a marketplace where imitations and charlatans are  plentiful, you need to do the opposite of what your competition is doing.

Where their message is confusing, yours must be simple.

When they are selling features and benefits, you must present the  solution.

Where they are focused on their brand, you must identify your customer’s pain  and cure it.

Where their claims are unsubstantiated, yours must be tangible.

There will always be a long list of vendors and products to satisfy the  insatiable appetite for “almost authentic”. And in the end, the purchaser will  always get exactly what they paid for. If you continue to compete based on price  alone (or intangible claims), 99% of your customers will continue to assume that  you are not the real deal either.

Rest assured, your potential customer will continue to be in pain no matter which  replicas and quick fixes she purchases in the meantime. Eventually, the pain  will become so acute that she will seek out your genuine solution. Make it  easier for her to find you by having a clear message that helps her to decide  and say “Yes.” Help her to know that you are authentic – put a fair price on  what you do, provide tangible proof your solution works and then deliver on your  promise.

Solutions are like diamonds, precious and rare. Fakes are like dry leaves in  the fall, found everywhere.

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