Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Visa vs Tony Soprano

Market your strengths

When you are not number one, what do you say?

When you are not the best then don’t compare your weakness to the best. Instead compare your weakness to those who are worst.

I saw a good example of this in my Visa Card statement. The notice promoted the attractiveness of their 18.5% interest rate. The audacity and boldness of this intrigued me. When the prime interest rate is somewhere around 3%, how could anyone find 18.5% interest rate attractive? And how could Visa justify this high interest rate when this is the same rate they charged in the years of high interest rates?

Visa does not have the best interest rates for a loan. The reality is that credit cards have never been the first place you might go for a loan based on the cost. What they offer is convenience to get an instant loan. And when you compare the alternative – using a store credit card – Visa is a better choice. Why? Because the store credit cards charge 28.8% interest. And even store credit cards are better than the companies who give you an advance on your pay check or a pawn shop. And then there are the loan sharks.

So that is what Visa does. They play to their strength (convenience) not their weakness (high interest rate). Remember Visa is better than borrowing money from Tony Soprano.

Play to your strengths – and don’t mess with the Sopranos.

George Torok
Co-author of the national bestseller "Secrets of Power Marketing"

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