Competition and differention
Teaching classes in marketing to Professional Dommes, I always go away with some additional insights concerning how Domina's think and how they approach the business.
Certainly one of the more eye opening elements has to do with the naivete that many have towards their competition. It is almost as if there are two diametrically opposed points of view. The first group are of the mind that they should ignore the existence of their competition, go their own way, and do their own thing. The second group will watch their competition like a hawk, denigrate their competition at every opportunity and even go so far as to scout their competition by sending subs to session and investigate.
The Smart course of action is between these two. And while there is little to gain and much to lose by starting a P.R. war with competition, there is much that can be learned by watching your competition. (Brings to mind Abraham Lincoln who said, "I never met a man I couldn't learn from." And then as an afterthought he said, "'Course it is generally what 'not' to do."
Here are some of the things that are important when looking at your competition.
What does she do well?
Who are her clients?
Where does she advertise?
What does she advertise?
What social media does she participate in?
Where does she network?
What events does she attend?
Once you have a good idea how your competition positions here or themselves in the market you will need to ask yourself how you are different and how you need to communicate in order to differentiate yourself from this competition. Do you have a core competency that is much stronger?
And if a one on one assessment puts you at a decided disadvantage... say your competition is a veteran with a huge dungeon and an encyclopedia of skills, is there a niche that you can develop?
Once this has been determined, you must decide how best to communicate the competitive advantage that you have determined.
When you consider your competition and who or what you must differentiate yourself from, it is common to think in terms of your specific genre, such as other professional Domina's. However, you should look at things from a more general view to see where your competition actually originates.
San Francisco is unique in that it has the largest open BDSM community. Every day of the week has multiple BDSM events and there are multiple clubs operating. The 40 or so professional Domina's who operate here tend to think of each other as the competition. Considering the huge lifestyle community that stays away from the professional community, the true challenge is to differentiate between the experience of a professional versus a lifestyle amateur. If the professional Domina community put their shoulder behind the enhanced experience coming from a professional, the return would be enormous.
Differentiation in Practice
Not too long ago, I met and began to work with a beautiful black woman who went by the name of Egyptian Royalty. She had dommed originally in New York before relocating to Atlanta, which is where I met her.
And although E.R. had dommed for some years in New York previously, I recommended that we look to launch a national reputation. Branding and creating design elements was first and I chose a Hieroglyphic style font, invented a tag line, created logo from her own profile and selected a Pharonic color set.
Egyptian Royalty is black and it was immediately apparent that differentiating her away from the hundreds of black fin-doms who fill social media with foot pictures, twerking videos, Snapchat ears, and demands to be compensated for cups of Starbucks coffee was essential. There was just too much communication from would-be clients asking if she was "real."
A beautiful professionally designed website filled with professional pictures, portraying brand messaging of beauty, elegance, sophistication, and exhibiting professional skills in a number of BDSM specialties gave the correct message. There were no more messages asking if she was "real" and her clientele soon expanded from the East Coast to include the the West Coast as well.
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