Last week. my blog was about lessons we could pull from the Tour de France, an event my husband and I love to watch together. I was completely inspired when Hugo Houle, a fellow Canadian, won a stage of the Tour! Check it out HERE if you missed it.
This week, let's talk gas. Why are gas prices rising? Or why are they going down? A lot of people are wondering, and to be honest, I am as well. Spoiler alert: I cannot answer this question, but what I can do is share some facts about what I'm observing. How would you like your products or services to be gas? Watch the following video or keep reading for more...
For starters, the price increase certainly hit us in the face. Absolutely. And while a few people may switch to public transit and try to drive less, most people will just keep driving, like they used to, and just pay the price. Being gas is pretty cool right now, right? You get to raise your price as much as you want, and people are still paying for it.
How would you like your products or services to be essential and necessary in people's lives? That no matter what, they keep giving you money?
The second thing I'd like to help you realize is the convenience. Gas is not really personal, so even if I hear that some gas station, a hundred kilometers from my house, has the most exceptional service, I still will use the corner gas store near my house or the one on my way. Yes, I know some people will line up at discount banners and drive far to get the better price, but there is a limit to the extent of distance that we're ready to go in order to put gas in our tanks, right?
Convenience is really, really important. What are you doing to be more convenient with your products and services? Have you offered an online option yet? Are you available virtually? Are you positioning yourself to be the gas station that will be the closest for your clients? Where are your customers hanging out? Are you there? Are you convenient for them? What association are they a member of? Are you meeting them where they're at? What added value are you offering? Are you just like everybody else, or are you a category of one?
Now, what if we talk about the price war? I mentioned that people will not go out of their way for unless it's much cheaper, right? When it comes to gas, people are not really attached to things other than convenience or price. If you see two gas stations side by side, and one is cheaper, which one will you choose? The cheapest one, right? Well, the thing is, if you start being part of the price war, then it's never going to stop. How low will you have to go? Do you really want to have the kind of customer that will cheat on you just to save a few bucks? How would you like it if the only factor that made people choose your product or service was your price?
This is why you need to differentiate yourself. You need to be that key element, that thing, that response, that solution, the piece of the puzzle that's missing for them. Right now, gas stations are trying really hard. Loyalty programs, freebies, car washes... But at the end of the day, I'm suspecting that you may agree that you would rather be in an industry where you can niche your product and be so unique that there is no other offering at every corner.
What makes you different? Of course, you need to have a customer loyalty program. You need to be able to keep your customers. You need to be able to make them recommit. If you sell multiple things, once they've purchased from you, you need to make them buy again, and keep buying! What are you doing to achieve this? Are you really listening to what they need, and are you really differentiating yourself to be that unique thing?
Okay, yes, I apologize. I don't ACTUALLY have the answer to the question at the beginning of this blog. You might have Googled: "Why are gas prices rising?" and you ended up here, and at the end of the day, I don't have the answer, but I just thought I would share all these different observations about gas prices and about what it made me learn about my own business and what I'm going to be doing differently now.
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