When Arnold Schwarzenegger decided he wanted to be a movie star, he looked around and saw the stereotypical Californian actor queuing up for auditions. You know the type - floppy hair, athletic build, somewhat good-looking men.
He realised if he wanted to make it in Hollywood, he would need to stand out, to be different. He would need to create his own niche.
In those days, it was people like Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro making waves in the movie world. Schwarzenegger’s agent, his friends, everyone in the industry told him that his look wouldn’t fit, that he wouldn’t be successful… “You look too big. You’re too monstrous. You’re too muscular. The time for body builders was 20 years ago.”
Yet, today, some 50 years later, his movies have grossed over $3 billion.
His success was in creating a “Monopoly Moat”
All the other wannabees were following the Wildebeest Marketing Strategy.
They looked like almost everyone else in the herd. They were difficult to tell apart. It was easy for them to get first meetings and interviews because they fitted the stereotypical image. But the competition was intense. Think of the proverbial LA waiter – serving tables until they get their big break!
Schwarzenegger never auditioned. He never went for a regular part, as he didn’t look like a regular. He turned his biggest flaw into his biggest asset… when they needed a big hulking man, who was the first person they thought of? Yes, Arnie.
Schwarzenegger carved out a perfect niche for himself.
He differentiated himself from everyone else. He may have got fewer calls than other actors, but, when the calls came, it was his role.
He didn’t need to compete against other actors. He didn’t need to convince the director to put him in the movie. They wanted him because he was the only person that could do what they needed. He built his own “Monopoly Moat”
The False Comfort of the Herd
The Wildebeest Strategy is comforting. reassuring, and safe.
“Sure, missus, what could possibly go wrong?“… “Everyone else is doing this, so it must be working for them”. “Why would we do something different, we might miss out!”
And it’s easy for the marketeer to deflect blame. “It’s not my fault it didn’t work. Everyone else’s was doing it.”
But the Wildebeest mentality settles you in the herd, blending in with everyone, almost invisible to your ideal customer.
Worse when you do go get a call, it’s hard to close the deal. When everyone else looks the same the only way the customer can choose is on features and price, and usually price is the winner. So, you end up cutting prices and reducing profitability. Working harder and harder for a worse return.
So, how to prevent that? Well…
You need a Monopoly Moat
If you want to win business more easily. If you want to charge premium pricing. If you want to be the most profitable business in your sector. If you want to do less for more money…
… then you must be seen as different. You must be the stand-out solution. You must build a Monopoly Moat - a deep, wide defendable moat that repels competitors but keeps your clients happy and safe inside your protective service.
(Sidenote: client comes from the Latin word “cliens”. A cliens is someone who seeks the protection and support of a more influential individual – which should be you! – and which comes with a duty of care on your part).
And for the avoidance of doubt, a Monopoly Moat is not about your brand image, your latest Tik-Tok or whatever videos, of the latest new fad.
It’s about how you do business, it’s about the people you recruit and retain, it’s about the customers you choose to serve, it’s about the problems you solve for them, it’s about how you position yourself, it’s about how you present and package your offering…
I could go on, but the point is … building a Monopoly Moat requires a clear, well-considered strategy of how you become a category of one. Of how you change your ideal customers’ perceptions so they see you as the only person who can solve their problems in the way they want them solved.
A Monopoly Moat is what Warren Buffett, Mark Anderson, and other great investors seek in every business they invest in.
Why? Because those companies are more valuable and sellable than their competitors.
Do you have a Monopoly Moat?
If not, you’ve got three options…
You can stay as you are, ensconced in the apparent safety of the herd. But, I can practically guarantee your results will deteriorate as the competition becomes ever fiercer, and business ever harder to win at good margins.
You can try and do it yourself, and waste time and money. And maybe still make mistakes and get it wrong. And be ever fearful about what you’re doing as you’ve no proven process to follow.
Or you can let me help. Because every day you don't have my help is another day that you're not able to charge premium prices. Another day of not growing predictably and profitably. And another day away from having a business you can happily own forever, but easily sell tomorrow.
Hit reply and we can see if you’re a good fit for my Elite 0.3% Club (a select group of owners growing a business they can happily own forever, but easily sell tomorrow).
Or don’t. It’s your business and your future.