A large key component of your marketing strategy is helping your business stand out from the competition. This blog will take you through the details of how to differentiate your business and stand out above your competitors so that your prospects and clients see you as the obvious choice. Remember that they are spending their hard earned cash with you and they want to make the best decision possible.
Knowing your competition
Finding out everything you can about your competition is imperative in your efforts to differentiate and therefore helping current and potential clients see your business as the “obvious choice” with which they should engage and trade. Knowing what they do so that you can do it better will help you stand in front of the same client they are pitching to.
This is what you need to know:
- What is their unique offer
- How are they promoting their products and services
- Where are they advertising
- How long have they been in business
- Who is their primary and secondary client categories
- Do they limit their geographic reach
- Do they operate countrywide
- What is their pricing strategy
- Are their clients happy
- How does their website compare to yours
- Is their online presence up to standard
The list goes on and on….
Researching your competition will be the best starting point for the “how to differentiate your business” self-assessment.
The value of being different from your competitors
The reason you need to stand out from the competition is so that clients and potential clients see you, your offer and your business as highly-valuable. This reduces price based negotiations and rather encourages an exchange of business based on value.
Taking into consideration the generic look and feel of your industry, and seeing that most businesses supplying similar products and services with very similar marketing and promotion tactics you will see that differentiation is of the utmost importance.
How to differentiate your business:
There are 4 key areas that we need to focus on that will help establish your business as the forerunner within your industry,
These 4 key areas are:
- Customer Experience
The success of each of these 4 items turns into the sales results and aims to deliver a loyal customer base that is happy to recommend your business to others. This happens when they receive good marketing that made them notice you and your offer as well as the experience that they have in dealing with you and of course, your innovative approach – be this on offer, products or services, as well as your well-positioned and memorable brand.
Let’s use the example of a can of deodorant… There are so many to choose from on the shelves in the shops and supermarkets, even online. This is the reason why companies selling deodorant spend millions filming and promoting adverts to get your attention. Literally, millions are spent each year so that companies can encourage you to buy their products. Think about the deodorant adverts you have seen, from the sporty to the sexy, to the sensual. Each theme appeals to different markets selling the same product.
How to differentiate your business and stand out above your competition.
So the first – Differentiation through Marketing
Theme and design.
It is often difficult to move away from the current design and theme of the business. Keeping this in mind it may be necessary to consider the following:
- Redesign of the current logo– Not necessarily a new logo but modernizing the current look.
- Website redesign– bringing the look of your website up to date to current standards and adding functionality that would engage your clients and prospects to take further action.
- Value Proposition– Strategising the USP and Elevator Pitch and well as the Brand Identity Statement to reflect your core values and deliverables of your business and your offer.
- Promotion– Your promotional efforts need to be captivating, consistent and with the aim of helping customers make an informed purchase decision so that they are confident with their purchase and buyers remorse is reduced.
- Marketing Automation– Where possible, automate your marketing process so that your client sees consistency in the communication that becomes to be highly-personal and valuable.
The second step is Differentiation through your Customer Experience.
Great customer experience is one of the best ways to get ahead of the crowd in your competitive market. You can do this by providing top-level customer-service.
Implementing exceptional customer service will help you retain long-term clients and this will bring you long term profits. Identifying all aspects of customer engagement and optimizing the customer experience will make you and your business stand out above the competition.
The 3rd step Differentiation through Innovation.
Product and service innovation are two obvious differentiation areas however, it may not always be possible. If you are not able to innovate your products or service then you need to innovate your approach.
Innovating your approach, your sales cycle, your delivery and after-sales service will definitely make you stand out above the competition. This is an ongoing process of observation and optimization.
The fourth aspect is Differentiation through your Brand
Specifically targeting your ideal client profile will drastically reduce the cost of promotion and make the customer feel as if you are talking directly to their needs.
Make your brand known by Branding everything and everywhere around your clients and prospects.
From simple email signatures to vehicle branding, online videos and everything in-between. Be consistent with the theme of your brand and deliver your value proposition within these branding efforts.
Although not necessarily difficult to implement, differentiation needs consistent effort from all aspects of your business, especially those where the client engages directly with your business. This spans from calls inbound to reception to clients receiving invoices and beyond. Attention needs to be placed on all branded elements as well as staff interactions.
As you evolve your brand we will tackle these elements in line with your marketing strategy to make sure your brand is clearly defined in the clients’ mind as the obvious choice.
In conclusion the info in this “how to differentiate your business” blog will help your clients come to the conclusion that they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anybody else but you regardless of price.