You can’t specialize in 10 things

Jan 2, 2015 | Business

As I was talking to a countertop fabricator today, I pulled up their company’s website. And, sadly, I laughed at their tagline.

Specializing in granite, marble, limestone, tiles, quartz, travertine, onyx, soapstone, pavers, and fireplaces

What? I’m no linguist, but I think that having a list of ten things reaaaallllyyy stretches the definition of “specialize“.

I’m pretty sure that when you say you specialize in something, what you’re trying to imply is that you’re “the best in the world” at whatever it is. And, I’m even more sure that you can’t be the best at 10 things.

Based on looking at countertop fabrication websites for the past hour (yes, I got obsessed) I’d say that that particular turn of phrase is extremely common. Why are people doing that?

…more examples from fabricators in my town:
We specialize in natural stone, granite, marble, limestone, soapstone, travertine, and onyx.
We specialize in laminate countertops, solid surface countertops, and sinks.
We specialize in kitchen countertops, vanity tops, window sills, fireplaces, and coffee tables.

As a homeowner, do I have any chance of understanding that your countertop business is the one I should choose?

Your unique selling proposition

We’ve been thinking about our own marketing a lot lately, so I’ve got some opinions on how to focus the message. One of the tools is fitting your marketing message into one sentence:

I help ___________ do ___________ so they can get ____________.

It’s okay if your message turns off some people. You’re not going to attract the “entire market“… whatever that means. If you’re selling to builders, that’s different than if your primary customers are kitchen & bath dealers. If you target wealthy homeowners, there’s no reason to be the low-cost solution. How can you be unique?

To be unique, your marketing message needs to:

  1. State the specific benefit you’ll get.
  2. Make an offer that your competitors can’t, or don’t.
  3. Be so strong it can move the masses.
  4. Must be tested.

So please, take a day and start working on your marketing message. I think you’ll find there’s an outsize benefit to spending the time. And, if you “specialize” in ten things maybe just take nine of them off your website for now.

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.