Seinfeld on Marketing: Commodities

This week’s Seinfeld on Marketing is special. We are going to compare two different episodes:

George and his girlfriend, Daphne, are eating at the coffee shop:

GEORGE: So how were the eggs?

DAPHNE: Eggs are eggs.

GEORGE: Eggs are eggs. That is very profound.

Kramer is eating eggs at the coffee shop when Elaine’s boyfriend, Kurt, walks in:

KRAMER: (Tastes his eggs.) Aw, these eggs are disgusting. This chicken should be ashamed of himself. Hey, Kurt. Taste these eggs.

KURT: Uh, no – I only eat cage-free, farm-fresh.

KRAMER: Yes! These are sweatshop eggs.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again…every business begins as a commodity. And it will stay a commodity and compete solely on price or convenience unless you give your customers a reason to look beyond price or mere convenience. The fact is eggs are not eggs. Many people are willing to pay more and recommend to others something that has perceived value.

You cannot let yourself fall into the trap of believing that your product is a commodity. If you do, you might as well pack and move to Mediocropolis where all of the other mediocre products go to die. If water, coffee and eggs can become “de-commoditized”, then there is 99.99% chance that your product or service can as well.

Do your customers know (and value) the difference between your eggs and the rest of your industry’s eggs?

BONUS: Be sure to turn in for next week’s installment of Seinfeld on Marketing for a special surprise!

This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.

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