One of the biggest challenges of every business is how to make their business stand out from the competition.
Most businesses are unable to achieve consistency in sales and loyalty from customers because they are indistinguishable from other businesses in their niche, industry, or locality. Consumers see them as no different from other businesses and only buy from them when they are unable to buy from their competitors.
Differentiation allows you to create visibility and perception that can boost the overall profitability and viability of your business. When you differentiate your business, you make it memorable and credible. It helps your prospects quickly understand what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors.
Differentiation is the reason we have consumers who prefer ‘Coca Cola’ to ‘Pepsi’, ‘Toyota’ to ‘Lexus’, and so on, even though these products and companies are almost the same. Their customers or consumers have attached themselves to these products at an emotional level because of the perceived uniqueness and authenticity of the product.
Foundation for Differentiation
The marketplace is full of products and services clamoring for attention from the consumer. The products with the strongest appeal and loudest voice always win the market. One of the first steps to making your business stand out is to give your business an identity. It is a lot easier for consumers to identify and connect with a product that has its own personality and identity than a generic product. Before you can consider other differentiating factors, ensure that you have given your business the following:
- Business Name: Giving your business a name is more like giving it a life and it’s own personality.
- Logo: A logo is like the Identity Card of your business. It is the visual element that your customers will associate with your business and it differentiates you from your competitors.
- Social Media: Social media accounts allow customers to interact with your business easily and also provides a way for you to promote your business.
- Website: A website is the home of your business online. It gives your business round the clock availability, increases your credibility, and gives you more control over your business online. [Click here to get a website at a discounted rate]
Your customer is
always mostly right
Apart from the obvious business name, logo, slogan, flyer, and other branding methods, the secret to differentiating your business is understanding what your ideal client really wants and making sure you deliver it better than anyone else.
Don’t be fooled – this exercise is not easy to do. It takes a lot of thought, brainstorming, and sometimes some trial and error to see what works.
Take some time to really think about the following and come up with a list of things you do really well. Don’t underestimate anything because something that you do that is so simple may be just the key to you standing out above all others:
- What do your clients really appreciate about your service?
- Why are long term clients still with you?
- What was one of the nicest things a client ever said about how you conduct business?
The challenge for service businesses is to clearly identify what you do best in a way that is visible to your target. Consultants, accountants, financial planners, coaches, designers, web developers, and other service-oriented businesses appear to all be the same: they offer the same services for about the same price. Stand out by really understanding what you do best and exploit it. Or come up with something unique that adds value over your competition that you can offer.
Strategize and Take action
With all the tools, gadgets, and platforms available today, the trend is to spend a lot of time on marketing execution. But one thing we must not forget is that regardless of the channel of execution, you still need the basics of your marketing strategy in place or all of your efforts will be wasted.
Take the time to determine your strengths and communicate them to your target audience in a way that gets them to notice you above all else. Once you have defined and can demonstrate your unique difference, be sure to incorporate it into your messages everywhere.
Being able to differentiate your business and communicating your unique capabilities that your competition does not have is very important if you want to attract your ideal client. What is the unique difference that makes your customers want to work with you?