The surf report looks good. The weather is promising. Gear is loaded and you’re enroute to your favorite break. Upon arrival, the first thing any experienced surfer will do is take a look at the lineup.
The lineup is simply a reference for who’s in the water and where the waves are breaking. Depending on what type of day it is, you might be competing for waves with beginners, experienced surfers and maybe even a pro.
It’s important to know who’s in the water. Hang out with the beginners and risk getting run over. Get to close to a pro and your wave count just went to zero.
Next, you need to see where the waves are breaking and if an open slot is available for you to occupy.
What does assessing the surf lineup have to do with automotive marketing?
It’s important for you to know your competitors and the space they occupy. For you to become successful & profitable, you need to differentiate yourself and pick a lane that isn’t currently occupied.
Need help picking your lane? Ask yourself these three questions:
- First: Is there a niche or service you are capable of fulfilling? Don’t just glance over this. You need to know what you are really good at, what you do better at, and what product line can you provide and be the very best at.
- Second: Is this market important to consumers? You may be the best widget maker on the planet, but if no one wants your widgets….you know how that ends.
- Third: Can you demonstrate your superior position from the executional, operational and marketing standpoint??
Need some examples?
Pretend you want to be the truck-king in your market. You’ll need to offer, stock and display more trucks than anyone else. You’ll also have to provide faster delivery than anybody else. Same day / next day and free. Being the lowest priced truck guy can only help. Your advertising strategy will need a budget large enough to cut through all of the clutter and cause consumers to take note. You can’t just say it, you have to prove it.
By picking a lane that isn’t currently occupied and resonates well with consumers, you’ll be able to make this your core position and theme for years.