If you think it's much more competitive in the marketplace today, you aren't wrong. No matter what industry you're in, getting noticed amidst a crowded field of companies in your niche takes a lot more effort and expertise.
A comprehensive study in 2020, commissioned by Crayon, a company that offers market and competitive intelligence tools, found that 90 percent of businesses say that their industry has become more competitive in the past three years, and 48 percent say it has become much more competitive. Businesses reported an average of 25 competitors in their market.
"The competitive landscape has changed – it is easier than ever for competitors to go to market and innovate, making the need for competitive intelligence greater than ever," said Ellie Mirman, CMO at Crayon.
Your profits directly hinge on how well you can separate your company from the competition. So many companies claim to be "number one" to consumers, but it can be challenging to differentiate yourself and build your unique identity enough to make this a valid claim.
Here we will examine seven ways to make your business stand out from your competitors. If you implement these simple strategies, you'll be in a good position to be at the head of the pack in your industry.
1) Know Your Target Audience Well
When it comes to standing out from the competition, one of the best ways you can pull this off is by thoroughly knowing your potential new customers. Begin by gathering this type of information about your target audience:
- Buying habits
- Shopping preferences
- Economic status
- Where they live
Knowing these characteristics will give you helpful insights about who you will be selling your products or services to. This will also allow you to be able to consistently attract and retain customers, which will likely lead to a strong bottom line.
2) Leverage Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) expresses your product's or service's primary and distinct value. It is the one thing that makes your business unique from other companies in your niche. Your USP defines your strengths as a business, and it is based on what makes your product or service valuable to your customers.
Be sure to use your USP consistently in your marketing communications. For example, you'll want to include your USP at all your brand touchpoints, such as your website, social media channels, blogs, advertisements, marketing collateral, PDFs, etc.
Many companies use their USP to create their slogan or tagline. This is an ideal way of exposing your USP to large numbers of your customers and qualified leads.
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3) Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Having customers satisfied with your products or services is vital to ensuring your business is successful. Good customer service rewards your company with new customers, word–of–mouth referrals, and customer retention.
Don't underestimate the power of word of mouth when it comes to brand awareness. When you exceed the expectations of your customers, they become evangelists for your company. And nothing boosts your chances of standing out from the competition better than having these ambassadors for your brand recommending your products or services.
Here are the four "Ps" that are associated with excellent customer service:
These four essential outstanding customer service elements will elevate your company over the competition.
4) Be Innovative
Being innovative is one of the best ways for your business to stand out from your competitors. You'll find that consumers appreciate new and different ideas – unconventional concepts – and will gravitate to companies known for their innovations.
Innovation can be reflected in the features of your products, the unusual ways your service is delivered, or how you communicate with customers and qualified leads.
By delivering on innovation, you are sure to elevate your company's status in your industry. Doing this will help you stand out from the competition.
5) Know Your Competition
How could you intelligently begin to differentiate your products or services if you haven't researched the competition? If you want to dominate in your space, then it is essential that you successfully stand out from your competitors. And a good way of doing that is knowing about their products or services.
You can take this information that you gather about your competitors and determine where they are falling short in meeting the needs of their customers. This will inform your product development as you set out to capture these highly valued consumers and convert them into your newest customers.
6) Offer a Guarantee
The essence of your brand is your integrity. And integrity means, in part, that you stand behind the quality of your products or services. Your brand promise is the core of your company. This means that you will guarantee the workmanship of your merchandise.
You will stand out from your competitors if you provide a guarantee or a risk-free offer. For example, if a customer is not completely satisfied with your product, then you will give them a refund. No questions asked. They can even keep the product.
By doing this, you convey to your customers that your business is confident enough in your product to stand behind it 100 percent.
When your business offers a guarantee or a warranty, you are reassuring customers about their purchases, and it plays a big role in gaining repeat customers, which can lead to an increase in sales. This type of assurance shows customers and prospects that you genuinely care about their satisfaction with your product or service.
7) Maintain a Robust, Multi-Channel Presence
If you want to be a leading business in your industry, then you need to capture the attention of as many of your potential new customers as possible. Your competitors are scouring numerous online channels to extend their brand awareness. So, your business needs to be one step ahead of them.
If your business launches a multi-channel marketing campaign, then you will succeed at connecting with online users on their preferred channels.
When these consumers are ready to purchase a product, your brand will be at their top-of-mind awareness.
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