We live in a very competitive market. Stores with physical retail space blame all of their woes on online conglomerates like Amazon. But is Amazon really to blame? If Amazon is making it impossible for retail to survive, then how are companies like Best Buy and Walmart continuing to thrive?
In the book Blue Ocean Strategy, the authors discuss how some companies have made competition irrelevant. In the marketplace, whether we are talking about retail, insurance companies, or funeral homes, there are red oceans and blue oceans. In the red oceans, competition is rampant. Each company is trying to undercut the other company’s prices, and profit margins are low or nonexistent. In the blue oceans, the water is clear as far as the eye can see because all of the competition are swimming in the red oceans. In short, to get out of the rat race, low profit red oceans, you have to add value to your offering—whether that’s funerals or insurance.
What are you doing that sets you apart from the competition? The customer is not always looking for the low price leader. Apple products, which are more expensive than their competition, are a great example.
In the Home Service Division of Security National, we are not interested in just being ordinary in the home service market, we set ourselves a part in several ways.
- When you call the Home Office, you speak to a live person who connects you where you need to go. This provides a more personal touch for the customer and the agent than having to go through computer prompts when needing information.
- We are one of the few, if not the only home service company that is growing their block of business every year. If a company is not growing, it is shrinking. We continue to thrive with great agents across the now 14 states in which we operate.
- Regular bonuses and convention trips! While most companies are cutting back (and in some cases, doing away with) these incentives, we continue to try and improve them.
- Competitively-rated products. While I know that we are not the cheapest company out there, I do believe that we offer the best all-around package for the customer, agent and company. There have been many companies over the years that have tried to compete on price alone that are no longer in business. We have been in business for over 52 years and aim to be in business many more by keeping the company on sound financial footing in order to continue to pay claims and commissions far into the future.
- Local management presence. While some companies have some managers that cover multiple states or have even done away with field managers altogether, we continue to show our commitment to our agents by providing knowledgeable assistance in the field.
What separates you from the funeral home down the street? How is your insurance different from the insurance that celebrities that are advertising on television and on the Internet? Don’t drown in the red ocean that’s full of competition. Instead, rise above the crowd and win in the marketplace.