Small to medium-sized businesses have several challenges to overcome with their digital marketing. One of the biggest is establishing what makes your business stand out from your competitors. This can be a hard nut to crack and something that’s not always easy to get across to your customers! In this article, we look at four ways to differentiate your business by understanding what makes you unique and emphasising this when you communicate to customers.
Defining what makes your business unique
Before we go any further, you first need to understand what makes your business different. What kind of business are you? What do you want to be known for? Why do you do what you do? What makes you better than your competitors? When we’re wrapped up in the day-to-day of getting work done and meeting deadlines, it’s easy to lose sight of this. We’re also sometimes too close to our business to be objective.
Taking a step back to think about this (and to get it down in writing) can be really worthwhile. After all, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, how are your customers going to?
For an in-depth look at how to define your USP, check out this video:
4 ways to differentiate your business
Once you’ve established your USP, the next step is to look at how to differentiate your business in your marketing and customer communications. To achieve this, you should focus on:
1) Creating a consistent customer experience
Identify and examine all your customer touchpoints to check they’re consistent with your USP and overall positioning. Make sure that all your interactions (whether digital or in-person) reinforce this. The same applies to your digital assets such as blogs and images. Everything should drive home the same message, to create a strong brand identity that’s instantly recognisable. And remember, marketing is more than just sending out sales campaigns – it should permeate every area of your business!
2) Finding your niches
Looking for new niches that your business can break into is really valuable. This doesn’t mean you need to discard your existing customers but tweaking your messaging so it appeals to a new audience can win you new customers, keeping your business relevant and fresh. Similarly, using segmentation to hone in on specific groups within your existing customer base will allow you to tailor your message, making it more relevant and generating better results for your business.
3) Knowing your competitors
The better you understand your competitors, the easier it will be to differentiate your business. If you can find gaps in your competitors’ offering, you can cash in on this by offering what they aren’t and highlighting this in your customer communication.
Take Gumtree, for example, which revolutionised the traditional classified ads you used to find in the back of newspapers and put them online!
4) Being innovative
The world doesn’t stand still – and neither should your business! By continuously trying to improve your processes, products, and services, you’ll remain relevant and see better results. Deliver your services in a way that makes them more appealing or offer a more streamlined way of working so that clients come to you. Thinking more creatively, or smarter, than your competitors will mean that you become their top choice.
So, there you have it – our top tips for differentiating your business and standing out!