Never say, “One Stop Shop”

One Stop Shop is not a value proposition, it's a brand compromise

One stop shopping is not a value proposition, it’s a compromise.

We live in a world of choice. If you can’t find something in your local retailers and service providers, you can probably find it online.

Abundance and choice break the value of a one stop shop. Customers don’t have to compromise themselves by buying products and services from a generalist.

Even Walmart does not claim to be a “one stop shop.” It may offer immense product selection, but notice its focus is on lifestyle and low prices. This radiates in their tagline, “Save money. Live better.”

If you hear yourself, or a member of your team, describe your company as a “one stop shop,” stop and ask why? What are you really trying to say?

“One stop shop” is a shorthand

One stop shopping is usually a shorthand for one of three core benefits:

  • Choice: You offer a broader selection of products or services than your competitors.
  • Service: By coordinating multiple products and capabilities, often disparate or disconnected, you’re able to service customers more fully.
  • Price: Size can lead to economies of scale, and provide a platform to pass greater savings onto your customers.

What is your area of expertise? And please don’t say, “All three.”

Great brands specialize

Great brands are not all things to all people. That’s a formula for compromise, and losing competitive advantage.

Walmart specializes on saving money on everyday household items. Zappos specializes in delivering outstanding customer service. Target specializes in cheap chic. What about you?

In a world of choice, customers are looking for companies that help them navigate their options and make sound decisions that best match their needs.

How do you purposefully assist and enable your clients? “One stop shopping” does not make you remarkable. It just makes your value proposition fuzzy.

Make it startlingly useful

Above all else, customers are looking for companies that make their lives easier. They’re looking for products, services and partners that deliver startlingly useful solutions.

Google is one of the most ubiquitous companies in the world, because their products are startling useful. Google Search helps us finds anything in seconds. Google Maps show us how to get where we’re going. Google AdWords connects buyers and sellers with remarkable accuracy.

Function is a matter of focus. How do you leverage your specialization to deliver ease of use and utility to your clients?

This is the secret sauce. When you focus on function, your value proposition skyrockets.

Challenge one stop shopping

I cringe when I hear the words, “One stop shop.” It’s a symptom of a brand with potential that hasn’t found its way.

When you hear these three words, ask two questions:

  1. What function does one stop shopping deliver to your customers?
  2. Why do they care?

One stop shopping is a marketing cliche. What function are you really delivering to your clients?

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