Posted on: February 23, 2023
It’s rare for a business not to face competition. Having to differentiate your offering and approach from others comes standard to all business operations.
Given the events of recent years though, many now reside in an intense competitive market. For example, High Streets are struggling to compete with Online providers with extensive stock, cheaper prices and ‘to the door’ deliveries etc. The explosion of digital marketing also means customers often screen out anything that looks remotely like marketing.
Don’t panic though! Some businesses are getting it right and differentiating themselves to attract new and loyal customers alike. Drawing on their successful approaches, here are 3 ways to help you stand out and appeal to customers in the coming months – no matter what the challenges might be!
1. Check out and test your key competitors’ offering and approach
It’s hard to stand out from your rivals if you don’t really understand their approach. Conduct a ‘mystery shop’ of their product/services or commission someone to do it for you. In particular, identify what they do differently across the whole purchase experience. Assess where your approach is stronger and weaker in comparison. Then look to make more of your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.
Also consider if you need to repackage, change the components or articulate specific services and products differently in order to have greater appeal in the market. If you’re unsure, bring together a small band of your loyal customers and run your ideas by them. The customer perspective will be invaluable.
2. Be visibly current
Customers feel reassured if a supplier is obviously showing fresh and current content on their website, social media and other channels. After the last few years, it demonstrates that business is alive and very much open for business. Out of date messages can cause customers to think you may not pay attention to other details.
Posting up content (particular latest stories, news, images and videos) helps to give your business a more 3-dimensional, technicolour image than it’s uncommunicative rivals. Being authentic and human goes a long way to helping you differentiate your business.
Commit to posting fresh content regularly on the news area of your website (and be sure to make this visible on your home page). Make sure you’re using the social media channels your target customers favour most and send a steady stream of news, stories, images etc in keeping with that channel’s personality.
These should show your business ‘in action’ – for example, think of florists showing their latest arrangements and seasonal offerings on Instagram, facebook, pinterest etc.
3. Encourage happy customers to post reviews
When searching online for a supplier, the volume of positive reviews can greatly sway a customer to get in touch with one over another. Social proof is a major factor of customers’ buying processes and yours needs to be visible at the search engine phase. Having genuine positive reviews on Google, Trustpilot or the key review site for your sector will help you stand out from rivals.
Obviously you need to earn the right for customers to applaud you publicly. That means consistently delivering an approach which they feel has the quality, efficiency and value for money they seek. Don’t be afraid to build in a process where you ask for reviews, often people need a prompt to do so.
It’s ok not to be the cheapest here. Often customers are happy to pay more for good, useful, reliable products/services that are delivered in a timely and positive fashion. Many recognise that going for the cheaper option can bring problems further down the line.
It is definitely possible to differentiate your business from its rivals and attract customers in today’s environment. To do so, it’s important to monitor your competitors approaches and assess if your offering needs fine-tuning to appeal more to customers. Be active in being visible and keep showcasing how you’re helping customers and the benefits they bring. Do this visually through pictures and videos for greater effect. And be sure that happy customers endorse your efforts along the way.
If you need help with differentiating your business in the coming months, please do get in touch. We’d be delighted to help.
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