If you want your business to thrive and achieve success, you need to have a plan for how to differentiate yourself from your competitors. About half of all businesses only operate for 5 years before failing. Only a third of businesses stay open beyond the 10-year point. One of the leading reasons behind business failure is an inability to differentiate from others in the same niche.
Many businesses incorrectly believe that, in not differentiating, they can cater to every possible kind of customer. Such an outlook rarely works, and often harms the business more than benefiting it. That’s why, even in your initial business plan, you should figure out how to make your company stand out. In fact, in your executive summary of your plan, it is imperative that you specify why your company is uniquely qualified to succeed and can attain competitive advantage and differentiation.
Below are several ways to differentiate your company from competitors.
Cater to Your Customer’s Pain Points – Research what your target customer’s pain points are, then find simple ways to alleviate these. For example, if you run an eCommerce business and your customer would like to be able to shop from your social media pages instead of visiting your webpage directly, provide them with that option. One of the great marketing lines of all time comes from marketing consultant Jay Abraham, who said “your customers are geniuses; they know exactly what they want.” Read this advice often and be sure to use it to cater to your customers’ needs.
Deliver Exemplary Customer Service – No matter whether you operate in the service industry, make it a practice to offer excellent customer service. Most customers judge a company’s competence by the kind of customer service they are able to provide. Nobody wants to have to wait on hold when they call your business. Customers want a speedy response and your company must be ready to provide it.
Provide Value that Your Competitors Do Not – An effective way to differentiate your company from your peers is to look into your rivals’ business strategies. When you do this, you are able to figure out the flaws and shortcomings of their business operation. And you can use this information to formulate a plan where you offer the added value that they do not.
Come Up With an Appealing Promise or Guarantee – When you extend a promise or guarantee to your customer, you remove the risk in making their purchase. They are able to trust your company better and perceive your brand as one they can depend on. A guarantee can really help boost your company sales.
Participate in Cause Marketing – Customers like nothing more than businesses with a social backbone. Modern customers are more likely to engage with businesses that give back to society than those who don’t. Partner with a non-profit who works for a social cause you believe in – it will help your marketing endeavors as well as your conscience.
In conclusion, differentiating your business from the countless other businesses in the market can be achieved quite easily. All you have to do is craft a unique identity for your business. While that might seem like an insurmountable task, it really isn’t when you use the pointers shared above.