You’ve probably heard of Groupon, right?  It’s the ‘daily-coupon-in-your-email-so-you-can-save-money’ service that just turned down a $6 Billion (yeah, with a ‘B’) offer from Google to buy them out.  The 28 year old CEO of Groupon must have been either a) drinking or b) smoking something to turn down that offer.

Groupon’s CEO forgot two key concepts in marketing . . . “NEW” and “IMPROVED“.

Google quickly responded by deciding that, since Groupon’s concept is so good, Google will create their own version of it . . . and they already have $6 Billion dollars to do it!
What’s really sad is not that Groupon said, “No, thanks” to Google.  It’s that Groupon forgot the basis of true market differentiation.  You have to be BOTH 1) unique and 2) beneficial.  Groupon was both.  Now, thanks to Google, it may be only one.  And now, Groupon can take it’s place in the middle of the ‘pack’ . . . it was and could have been the market ‘leader’ but it forgot about what ‘standing out’ requires.

KEY POINT:
You must be both UNIQUE and BENEFICIAL to differentiate your business.  Assuming you’re beneficial, you have a limited window-of-opportunity in which you’ll also be unique.  Sooner or later, if you’re really beneficial . . . your competitors will be on to you and that, my friend, is why ‘New and Improved’ gets such traction in marketing!