In my presentation yesterday at the Promotional Product Professionals International Conference, one of the challenges that promotional product professionals face, especially with access to global supply, is that many are able to source the same products at similar prices. So when competing in the market how do they differentiate? The usual answers for many facing similar challenges are:
- Drop the price my reducing margins or offer discount plans
- Quicker turnaround by holding inventory or faster or free delivery
- Try and get the latest product first and milk it for less and less time
The problem with this approach is that there will always be someone beating you or prepared to do better. This is why personal branding was such a topic of interest, helping the promotional product professional identify their own unique skills and strengths and leveraging those to be more successful.
In a city like Las Vegas, where the conference was held, you can witness the slippery slope of 'one up manship' ;
- Unlimited buffets where you can eat more and more for less and less
- Gambler membership programs with club access, rewards and incentives that all seem the same
- Latest or Retro celebrity shows and events that are more extravagant, longer, more frequent, but as I witnessed last night I can get for anything from 20-70% off the ticket price.
They are all chasing a slice of the same size pie, but the relationship and connection is all superficial, not good for long term brand value.
Is that how you want your personal brand to be viewed?