In order to succeed you need to differentiate yourself from your competition. It seems everybody nowadays has their own start-up, their own craft brewery, and their own little niche business. You get a sea of corporate entities all fighting for a piece of the pay, while the regular consumer can’t make heads or tails of who is who. All the same, all identical, a sea of incorporation contracts, content lawyers, and notice on foreclosure signs. However, don’t lose hope.
There are ways you can stand out from the crowd. Some of these can sound incredibly simple and basic (and they probably are). The problem is that people neglect the fundamentals. Others you may not have thought of before. Whatever your situation is, we trust you will definitely make use of the below points.
It’s all about the product (and/or service)
The best and most important aspect that helps differentiate your company from others is the products and services you offer. Marketing can always pull people in, but one bad experience with certain services or goods is enough to turn them off indefinitely. This is a grave mistake too many businesses make. Sure, marketing is important, you need to find a way for people to actually reach your door. However, you should always strive for substance over style, at all times.
Now, of course, you should differentiate yourself by the quality of your work. But, there are other aspects to think of as well. Maybe you can add some new or special features. Perhaps you may offer some specific benefits as well. For example, make it very easy and simple for your customers to order whatever it is you have on offer.
An element as simple as finding a very fast and unique way of distributing your goods can also help you move ahead. The key to the success of any business is efficiency, after all, maybe that may be enough to help you stand out. Doing everything everybody does in a much better and faster way is a type of uniqueness in its own right.
Employ top talent
Too many companies simply don’t consider their staff as a way to stand out. Employees are the lifeblood of any company, they are what makes it tick, what makes it move and groove. This is especially important for businesses where employees are in regular contact with the clients (for instance, but not limited to, the service industry).
A professional, top-level employee will interface with your customers on a daily basis. They will stand out (and by association, your company will stand out) through their talent and dedication. A top-talent employee will demonstrate competence, reliability, politeness, and professionalism to any customer.
So, try to attract the right people. Make your company a place people want to actually work at. Offer special benefits, and provide advanced training. Talented and ambitious people always want to improve and work on their skills.
Or, you can offer some things other people in your field don’t. For example, if your business is somewhat dangerous, have professional work injury lawyers on call (and let your employees know that you do). If anybody gets in trouble in the field, they know they have you to watch their backs.
Rethink how you approach your brand
We’ve already mentioned how you should never choose style over substance. However, when the basics are down and you got a good product and good people to rely on, you should focus on strengthening your image more. We say more because a big part of building your brand is exactly what you give to your customers, and how you do that.
Here we are talking about something a bit more superficial. Namely, your logo, your name, and how you advertise.
What kind of style are you going for, and how do you expect people to perceive your company? Are you going with a family friendly image, or do you prefer a more serious and stylish one? Then, once you figure that out, mix it up a little. You can really run away from some aspects of your business. Extreme sports and motorcycle equipment may not have the best response to your products if you want to target senior citizens. But, if you want to stand out, try to put your unique spin on it.
Sticking with our extreme sports and motorcycle gear example, you want to avoid the ultimate super edgy style that most companies in this branch go for. Try something a bit more subdued, but powerful. You want to present your stuff as exciting, but maybe more in control. Think of the contrast between a loud and rowdy amateur, versus a cool and collected professional.
Differentiating yourself from the competition is a vital part of any business. You need to stand out, you need to carve a nice piece of the pie all for yourself, by yourself. You can do this by first mastering the basics. You want employees you can trust, that is the crème of the crop (and a way to get them to work for you).
Next, strive towards perfecting your craft in every way. Provide goods and services that are above anything your competitors can offer. Finally, understand your audience and build your image, but at the same time try to give your own unique spin on things.