January 5, 2021 | 4-minute read (796 words)
No matter which industry your business calls home, you’ll have some competition in your field. This can make it hard for a startup to thrive when competitors are already dominating the space. However, there can be more than two brands in a category — the key is to differentiate your company from the others. Entrepreneurs can use unique selling points or business traits to set themselves apart in a crowded industry. Check out some of the best strategies that can help you stand out from your competitors.
1. Maximize Data Usage
You can leverage demographic data in a way that your competitors don’t, which can give you an advantage over them. Use the data to find your target customers and then take that information and segment it into small groups of like-minded people. Use this segmented data to drive your marketing campaigns and personalize your content. By utilizing this "niche targeting technique," you can reach your ideal customers much more efficiently and inexpensively than your competitors can.
2. Choose the Right Marketing Platform
Use your customers’ demographics to determine the exact medium that you should use to reach them. The insights you can glean from your analytics reports will help you determine which social media platform your target audience finds most engaging, what type of content they prefer, and more. Since the amount of media consumed on mobile devices increases every year, if you’re targeting your customers through mobile-friendly messages, you can reach them faster.
3. Make it Easy for Customers to Find You
Use different search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to get your brand on the first page of Google search results with the right keyword search. Find the right keywords to include in your content to improve your ranking and help your customers find you easily. You can find these keywords through an internet search on whether a similar business exists already. And if one does, find who the competitors are and what search term they are using. Next, use these search terms or keywords in your marketing campaign, content on your website, in ads, on social media, and everywhere you exist online.
Use services that can analyze the keywords that are bringing customers to your site — and your competitors’ sites — so you can stay on top of ways to capitalize on how people are finding your business versus other firms’ sites.
4. Emphasize Your Brand Story
A compelling brand story can enable you to stand out from the competition. Companies that offer a philanthropic arm, an eco-friendly edge, or an engaging back story might find that it’s what they need to set themselves apart. You can put this information on all collateral, from your websites to social media profiles.
5. Maintain Good Customer Relationships
Stay in touch with your customers by answering their calls, responding to emails and messages, commenting on social media posts, solving their problems, asking them for feedback, and providing quick customer support.
As you create your business strategy, ensure that you remain consistent in your interactions with customers. If you make a mistake, own up to it — and learn from those mistakes to improve and avoid similar issues in the future. This will allow your brand to stand out from the competition over time.
6. Analyze Your Competitors
Once you’ve identified your competitors, you should analyze their offerings, sales strategies, and what they’re doing that works well. Find the gaps in your competitors’ services, issues in their products, and their weaknesses. Use this information to maximize your offerings in those areas.
Also, analyze the prices and services your competitors are offering. You can use this information to provide a different pricing model than they do, allowing you to stand out. In addition, if you offer a service with a 10-day turnaround and the competition has a 15-day turnaround time, you could give yourself an edge in that arena. You can also provide a higher warranty period or easier return policies than your competitors to set yourself apart.
7. Focus on Customer Service
Customers expect companies to understand their expectations and needs and often pay more for a better customer experience. Even if your competitors offer the same services or products, you can attract customers if you offer better services and quicker response times. If customers are delighted with your customer service, they essentially become promoters of your brand.
If you prioritize your customer issues and experiences, they can be loyal to you for life. Online pet retailer Chewy is a great example of that, sending select customers hand-painted portraits of their beloved pets. Consumers share these on social media, showing others how loyal they are to the company. Therefore, strive to improve your customer service strategy as part of your overall user experience strategy.