Dunno about you, but I LOVE old movies. Particularly of the “B-grade” variety. The campier, trashier and more unintentionally awkward — the better!
And the Stepford Wives is a b-movie CLASSIC!
To clarify, I’m talkin’ about the campy, hokey and suuuper-charming 1975 original. Not the 2004 remake into which Nicole Kidman + Matthew Broderick were inexplicably shoehorned.
Sadly, the producers tried to turn the remake into a black comedy. And in the process managed squeezed out every last ounce of charm the original embodied. But I digress. Siskel and Ebert, I ain’t.
So anyway, if you’re not familiar with the plot, Stepford is an idyllic suburban community… Ya know, whatever the ‘70s equivalent of SUV marauding soccer moms looks like… Country Squire station wagons and lawn darts, I guess?
And on the surface, Stepford seems peeeeeerfect. But scratch beneath the epidermis, and you’ll discover this cozy community’s hiding a deep, dark secret…
The wives of Stepford have all been replaced with robots! And they’ve all been programmed to be the ideal subservient, supportive spouse. In other words, Stepford’s overrun by an army of “perfect robots wives!”
Now, this MIGHT sound appealing to some of you out there… JK! ;—) But essentially, the Stepford Wives are really just a bunch of drones acting according to a script. There’s nothing that distinguishes one from another, beyond their superficial appearance. So they’re all just a big bowl of blah…
Anyway, if you’ve read this far, you likely asking yourself…
What’s This Got to do With My Website???
Your website is your own little corner of the interwebs. And as such, you’d like to think it uniquely represents your business.
But how distinct is your website from all the other businesses in your marketplace?
In fact, have you ever REALLY looked at your competitors’ websites? And not just a quick breeze through as you sip your morning latte and delete last night’s Viagra email ads. But rather, have you ever exercised a bit of magnifying glass out “compare and contrast?”
Here’s a little research experiment I recommend…
== > Gather 6-8 volunteers. They can be employees, colleagues, friends, family or anyone relatively familiar with your business.
== > Pick one person to be the “control.” Have the control print out 10 competitors’ Home pages, along with your Home page, redacts all the business names, and then shuffle them all together like a giant deck of Bicycle cards.
== > Then have the other volunteers read through the 11 website Home pages. Can they can pick your website out of the bunch…?
Now, I Have Two Predictions Here…
First, the majority of your group will NOT be able to distinguish your Home page from that of your competitors.
Secondly, all the website Home pages will all sound roughly the SAME. Yours included.
And if my predictions ring true….
Your Website is STEPFORD WIFE DRONE!
This is problem, because…
Generic messaging fails to engage or sustain your prospects’ interest. Your website is your virtual front door on the world wide web. But if your content isn’t unique or inviting, you’re not going to engage or hold your visitors’ attention. And this goes beyond the aesthetics. Sure, a gorgeous website design grabs the eye and draws visitors in – for a moment. But your website’s content portrays your message. And your message is what sustains your prospects’ interest.
Generic messaging destroys any semblance of competitive edge. Your website is your GREATEST prospecting tool, but… Generic content that fails to distinguish your biz from your competitors’ winds up lumping you in with “all the rest.”
Generic messaging commodifies your business. If your website’s content makes the same pitch as your competitors, you reduce your services to a “commodity.” And at that point, you’re competing solely on price. Which is a race to the bottom, where businesses go to D-I-E.
We’ll answer that question next time… In my follow up post, I’ll address how to rescue your website from languishing, ignored in generic messaging obscurity.
Sorry for the tease! But never fear, the solution is near!
In the Meantime, Try The Drone Test Experiment…
And report back on your findings at my Google+ page. Looking forward to hearing your results!