Quality Isn’t an Angle


by Kenny Hyder

Sim­ple question:

What sepa­ra­tes you from your competition?

If you ans­we­red “qua­lity” or some varia­tion the­reof, YOU FAIL. In today’s mar­ket, where there are more options than ever, ever­yone expects and demands qua­lity from ever­yone they do busi­ness with. Qua­lity isn’t an edge, it isn’t your selling point, it’s simply the right way to act and not lose business.

Mar­ke­ting 101 tells you that in order to dif­fe­ren­tiate your­self from your com­pe­ti­tors, you have to offer something to your cus­to­mers that is dif­fe­rent. Godin would say you have to be “remar­ka­ble”; I simply like to say you have to have an edge. Being remar­ka­ble is great, but it isn’t always neces­sary to attract busi­ness. Howe­ver, having an edge, offe­ring something your com­pe­ti­tion doesn’t, is necessary.

As an inter­net mar­ke­ting con­sul­tant, if my angle was that I pro­vi­ded qua­lity ser­vice, what value am I in the eye of any pros­pec­tive client? All of my com­pe­ti­tors pro­vide qua­lity ser­vice. OF COURSE I pro­vide qua­lity ser­vice, I HAVE TO. My edge is in spe­ci­fic expe­rience I have with com­pe­ti­tive ver­ti­cals, my per­so­na­lity, impres­sive client port­fo­lio, and other awesomeness.

Now, don’t con­fuse “qua­lity” with “high-end”. If you’re selling the highest-end pro­duct in your mar­ket, that’s an angle. But if you say you’re selling the best tool­set in your industry, you have to subs­tan­tiate your claim and prove your edge and worth.

Where to start? It all begins with your brand stra­tegy. How you brand your­self should define what your edge is and how you demons­trate it to peo­ple. You should be mar­ke­ting your­self based on how you dif­fe­ren­tiate from your com­pe­ti­tion. Reas­su­ring your product’s or service’s qua­lity is a great thing to do, but not something to hinge your mar­ke­ting stra­tegy on.

Some Com­pa­nies that Have an Edge

Outs­po­ken Media

Outs­po­ken Media is the per­fect exam­ple of a ser­vice busi­ness that has a clearly defi­ned edge. With the detai­led cove­rage they pro­vide of industry events, thought-provoking com­men­tary, and loud mouthed tweets, there is no doubt that they repre­sent their brands name­sake and ever­yone knows it.


The bio on Knowem’s Twit­ter Pro­file reads: “*The Ori­gi­nal* Pre­vent Social Media Iden­tity Theft”. Kno­wem pio­nee­red the idea of user­name pre­ven­tion squat­ting and crea­ted an ama­zing ser­vice based around it. Some­ti­mes being the first one in the mar­ket gives you enough of an edge to dominate.


BMW came up with the slo­gan “The Ulti­mate Dri­ving Machine” and has been pla­ying that angle for years. Do they make good cars? Abso­lu­tely. Do they make cars that are vastly supe­rior to their com­pe­ti­tors? No. But because of the edge they have bran­ded them­sel­ves with, they have been able to main­tain a sig­ni­fi­cant mar­ket share even in a dec­li­ning economy.

Goo­gle built it’s busi­ness by offe­ring a search engine with a clean inter­face to a world that was used to Yahoo! Apple built it’s empire by mar­ke­ting a com­pu­ter and ope­ra­ting sys­tem that was sim­ple, easy to use, and “dif­fe­rent”. Remem­ber the “Think dif­fe­rent.” cam­paign? If you can’t dif­fe­ren­tiate your­self, you have no shot at longevity.

Photo Cre­dit: bin­der­michi

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