Are potential customers labeling and avoiding you?

I’ve had several bad espressos from those cheap looking, roadside coffee stands. To the point where I won’t even risk it anymore. I’d sooner go to a Starbucks—which is against my principles as a small business supporter and champion—than risk one more really bad latte. My brain knows they can’t all be that poor quality, those little independent barista booths. But my stomach and taste buds have been burned enough times to avoid anything like that.


I’m wary of the roadside coffee stand, I admit it. Just like women are wary of a certain type of guy. At the risk of stereotyping and offending, say a woman keeps dating artists and finds they are consistently moody and unreliable. After awhile, she’ll probably avoid artists as potential dates, even if a guy is rational and reliable as well as artistic. She’ll end up lumping all artists together into one kind of category, just as I lump all roadside coffee stands into one type of category: to be avoided.


When your coffee really is stellar and worthy of a drive by, how do you stand out if your audience is wary due to all your competitors who serve crappy cappuccinos? First off, you’ll have to make sure you truly serve good coffee. That will get you the word-of-mouth marketing that money can’t buy. Secondly, you need marketing and copywriting that differentiates you and makes you stand out as better.


And this applies no matter your business: If your potential customers are lumping you into a category you don’t want to be in, or don’t belong in, only two things can get you out: Your product or service, and your marketing. The former will be your proof that you’re better, the latter will be your story telling people about your proof.


Is your business perceived as a roadside coffee stand or a flaky artist? Then make sure what your selling is better than the competition, and make sure your marketing and copywriting effectively communicate that fact.

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