Market your point of difference

One reason why people will choose your product or service rather than a competitor is its perceived, real or otherwise, difference to similar products or services in the marketplace. You’ll need to find a competitive advantage over your rivals to make your business comparatively more appealing in the marketplace.

Doing business with you should be more attractive and compelling than with your competitors. A brand positioning strategy can help your business focus on the key ingredients that will set it apart from the crowd. It should be simple and needs to easily connect with potential customers.

Consider your options

Your primary marketing goal should be to create a unique point of difference. It will make your business stand out from your competitors and convince consumers to choose your product or service.

Your unique point of difference, also known as a unique selling point, needs to be the key benefit that you want your target market to associate with your product or service.

You want your customers to have a favorable perception of your business so identifying a point of difference can be vital to achieving that outcome. Some areas of difference you might consider include:

  • Customer service
  • Convenience
  • Specific benefits of your product or service
  • Your business story
  • Variety
  • Price.

Consult your customers

If you already have customers, survey them to find out what they’re really wanting from you and your competitors. Knowledge of what your customers are looking for from your business is crucial to finding your unique point of difference.

You may find out that the reason why you thought your customers choose your business wasn’t actually the reason why they keep coming back. They may be motivated by something you hadn’t even considered.

Sometimes customers will be more loyal to a brand that they’re emotionally attached to. Consumers who show a positive response to a business story they can relate to and feel a connection with, will sometimes become emotionally connected.

Make your business look unique

The simplest way you can make your business look unique is by telling your story. Tell potential customers how your business came about, what you do, how you do it, and what you put into your product or service for them.

Start by listing the steps you take from product or service initiation through to end delivery of the product or service to your customers. Use your list to write a short sentence on each point, highlighting the benefits to your customers.

You can then use these sentences to form the basis of your business’s story. From this point, you could build your entire marketing strategy around your unique story.

Differentiate from the competition

You might start out with exactly the same product or service commonly available in the marketplace, but add features that differentiate it from the pack.

It’s difficult to stand apart from the competition in a global marketplace. You’ll need to talk about the special features of your product or service to gain interest from potential buyers.

Determine your key strengths and weaknesses compared to those of your competition. Examine your three main competitors including the market leader. Take a close look at what you personally bring to your business that your competitors don’t.

Focus on your market

An effective technique for a small business that’s struggling to compete against larger operations is to service a specific market better than the rest. One example could be a small hardware store that can’t compete on price so builds a competitive edge by focusing on a wider range of certain tools and equipment, while training its staff to be more knowledgeable about the hardware it sells.

In this example, the business develops, and is perceived to have, expertise in the products it sells. The expertise of this business is its competitive advantage.

Contemplate cost leadership

By closely monitoring the costs of your business you can aim to become a cost leader in your market. You want your business to operate at its highest possible level of efficiency so you can compete on price and use it as a competitive advantage in your industry.

This strategy can be risky as you’ll push down the price and potentially start a price war with your competitors. Whoever has the most resources to sustain smaller margins will eventually come out on top.

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