By Andrew Neitlich

How to set your web services apart (and answer to case of inland seafood restaurant)

By Andrew Neitlich

Last blog asked you how you would position a seafood restaurant in a Florida tourist market with no water view or waterfront location. While many of your ideas were good, this restaurant chain chose a simpler solution than what you proposed.

The answer relates to Web Design/Development services because their approach is a common, successful way to position any business (and is one I’ve talked about before in this blog):

Turn a weakness into a strength.

The restaurant proudly advertises the fact that they lack a waterfront view, and focuses instead on the quality of their menu and seafood. Their motto is:

“No waterfront views, just great seafood.”

And they back up their claim with: the broadest and most creative seafood menu around, numerous entries in local food competitions along with awards, and by winning the “People’s Choice” awards every year in the local upscale magazine.

This is called one-dimensional positioning: Choose a criteria that matters to your customers and redefine the market by succeeding on/dominating that criteria. In this case, the market had been focused on spectacular waterfront views. In the meantime, many restaurants with good views sometimes had questionable seafood, something that matters to tourists and residents alike. So there was an opening for a restaurant to focus on having the best seafood.

Other examples:

The United States Post Office regained ground from Fedex by focusing on price. Their service/reliability/speed may not be as good as Fedex’s, but they cost much less and get your package there only a day or so later. This price advantage matters to plenty of people.

Avis is #2 in the market vs. Hertz, but turned that into an advantage by focusing on how they have to “try harder” to win your business.

In Web Design, there are lots of dimensions of service to set yourself apart:

– The only firm that understands navigation and design schemes to get response for companies selling services and products via the Net

– A focus on a specific industry (e.g. “We have designed web sites for more Fitness Clubs than anyone else)

– A focus on a geography (e.g. “Voted best small technology company by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and best new company by the Sarasota Economic Development Committee)

There is also two-dimensional positioning, which I’ll cover soon….

  • Interesting, I’ve heard that advertisement used before. I should have thought a little harder.

  • The restaurant could also use the second example, “no view – better prices”.

  • No see, only seafood.

    Ok, that was so corny.

  • Afro Boy

    It’s so obvious when you think about it. Seafood is one of those things that people generally want excellent quality from. Why not capitalise on that perception and use it to distinguish yourself from the competition.

    It’s like the general perception that motor mechanics always try to rip you off. These days I see more and more repair centres greeting you with clean shirts and ties, etc. Much more professional.


  • Anonymous

    this is ok

  • I think you’ve all missed one important point and perhaps the restaurant has too, and it has little to do with the waterfront “views”. I think that if a seafood restaurant is not near the water people subconsciously “perceive” it not to have the freshest possible seafood. And I dare say that “freshness” is more important than “views” for most people into seafood. So if it was my business I would have first alleviated people’s fears by focusing on how “fresh” the seafood is and then perhaps mention the “view” as a secondary point and relate it back to the lower prices. So communicate to customers that you can afford to charge less because you’re not paying for the waterfront real-estate. You don’t want people thinking you’re charging less because the seafood is 2 weeks old ;) So the pitch would be something along the lines of… “Only the freshest seafood. And the views are free!”.

  • markchivs

    All your comments are true but I think we have to remind ourselves of the focus of Andrews original blogg “How to set your web services apart”. It really didn’t matter what solution the restaurant came up with. The important thing is they knew what set them apart from the others and that became the focus of their selling point. It could of been freshness of food or price or anything.

    Providing any business does their research and understands the market they are in they should be able to identify what is unique about their service/product compared to every other competitor. : )

  • hg.weber

    “Lucky Strike – nothing else” – advertisement in Germany – sounds similar, and works great AFAIK.

  • I agree with Mark. Also, I think it’s important to convey to your customers that they’re not paying for an expensive waterfront view (naturally a location on the water is expensive) – they’re paying for fresh, quality seafood.

  • geop23

    Actually, commenting on your original premise… My cousin owns the absolute best (ask anyone who’s been there) seafood resuarant in St. Augustine, FL, and the only view he has is of the main street in the area. What made his restuarant a success over MANY other seafood spots that did have beach-front, bay-front, and river-front (which regularly came and went with the tide)is having the best seafood in town. People care about substance over style. You want a plate of the best fried shrimp in Florida? Why would restuarant property directly on the beach make you think there was good food there? What matters is who buys the food, and who cooks the food…. not the building.

    Eat at O’STEENS in St. Augustine and you’ll never care about the view again. Get there by 8:30 on a Saturday night or they’ll lock the front doors!

    In thought, this brings up another point, which is that there are many restuarants that serve until 11:00 or later to make a profit… my cousin runs dinner from 4:30-8:30 (they have great lunch specials too though, 11:00-2:00) then goes home for the night. People line up down the street to get into this place too, night after night.

    Why? ;)

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