It’s alarming that many businesses still market themselves by their service offering only. While that used to be ok back in the days of phone books and yellow pages, in today’s competitive, digital world - it’s a whole new ball game.
The business world is crowded, marketing volume is noisy and buyers have far greater choice. Many websites and marketing comms only communicate “I’m a plumber, or I’m an accountant, or I’m a mortgage broker.” In most cases - the services can be almost identical to the next guy - thereby being “same-same.”
So how do ensure your business is different has cut-through and you’re a preferred contender in the minds of your customers? Give them a reason!
While it needs to be clear what service or product you provide, there’s so much more needed within the buyer’s consideration. Buyers interact differently and choose suppliers critically. Each customer type will have a different set of needs and potentially a different buyer’s journey via your website, social, via phone or in-store. They often want a certain ‘type’ of business, either by niche or speciality or want to know how you’re better than the rest. At the very least, your marketing needs to mention what you specialise in or what you’re renowned for, how you do it better or why you do what you do, for example, your purpose.
Some Fundamentals for Standing Out:
To be different in your market, you really, first of all, need to find your ‘point of difference/valuable marketing proposition’. What makes your product or process unique - that no-one else can claim or compete with? And, in the words of Simon Sinek, you need to give your customers a ‘WHY’ - to ask "Why they should choose you/your business?"
Tip 1: Your Who – Your People/Your Expertise
Assess the people in your business, their experience and expertise. Your people can set your business apart.
Rather than promoting “We’re Accountants” for example, find your niche expertise by industry or types of service. For instance, to attract businesses with a 1m turnover, you would want to present your company as a solid accounting firm with a team of 8+, who specialise in growth in your particular industry.. Your marketing should then promote your expertise and use statements like “Our experienced specialist team, serving the XYZ Industry over X many years”.
This can be leverage over generalists or other new competitors.
Tip 2. Your What – Your Product or Service
Find your point of difference in your product. An innovation either by way of product feature(s) or product or service experience. Think Apple’s iPod for example. While MP3 players were around long before iPods, Apple reinvented them in an innovative way, with a product look and a brand experience that made them the category winner, hands down
Aim to make your products unique in some way. If you are in the service industry, think about the services you can ‘package’ as your own methodology or ideology.
Tip 3. Your How – Your processes
Look at your processes, are there ways to make your processes, projects or even customer dealings a far greater experience or level of service, than anyone else? Processes that either add value (or can reduce time and costs) to your customer.
It may even be by outcome. IE your processes can be 'solutions' or great 'outcomes' for your customers. That could save time, costs, better delivery times etc.
Perhaps it is the presentation of product or the way your services makes your customer’s feel. For example, have you ever bought an Apple phone or computer? Remember the experience when you open the packaging? Its presentation certainly reinforces their market leader position while endearing customer loyalty.
Look at the ‘how’ and the process you provide - spell that out for your customers - in your marketing, your website, brochures, business cards, while networking and even during sales meetings. Process can be a strong differentiator, because everyone wants a better way, if your market is flooded or highly competitive.
Tip 4. Your Why – Your Reason
Consider the outcomes for your customers - so your differentiation is customer-driven. Give them a reason to consider your product by the delivery/outcomes your business will provide for them. Or promote your Why. What drives your business and why you do what you do. For example, “We love to help small businesses grow” or “We promote Sustainable Manufacturing - reducing our carbon footprint etc.”.
The more you can communicate “Why we’re different’’, the better you’ll attract the right audience, plus your marketing will be sharper with targeted messages and your team will have a clearer understanding of what you do. Ideally, your customers will also better value your product or service.
Tip 5: Your Brand
This is where you can truly be different in every sense of the word. Each brand must be unique in order to stand out.
A strong brand will encompass its own vision, values, culture, purpose, personality, point of difference, presentation, market position and more.
Brands are more commodities and can change lives, build communities, impact people and even outlast their creators. They deserve a thorough strategy and an insightful, nurtured evolution.
Ensure you build a strong and unique brand to stand out and make a difference!
BEAM provides complimentary Brand and Marketing Reviews to help businesses differentiate and have a competitive advantage.
Book a FREE Brand Check here to help your brand stand out in your market.