As a business owner, you’ve no doubt read some of the statistics about the failure rate of start-up companies: Only 50 percent of businesses make it past the first five years, and only one-third of businesses make it past the 10-year mark. While there are many reasons why a business might fail, far too many businesses don’t succeed because they fail to differentiate themselves from the competition.
A critical component of your company’s success is the ability to stand out from your competition. It’s a consumer’s market, and it’s up to you to find a way to connect with your target audience and convince them that your company, products, and services are the right choice. But perhaps you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Be Different & Offer Something Better
One of the best and easiest ways to stand out from your competition is to offer something different. Every business says that their service or product is what separates them from the “other guys,” but just saying it isn’t enough, especially in highly competitive, non-niche markets. Be unique!
A “value proposition” is a promise to the customer that your company can provide a product or service that will solve their problems, improve their life, or offer a better experience than that of your competitors. Many businesses opt to go for the lowest cost value proposition, offering the most value at the lowest prices; others may offer unique features, specialty products, or even something as basic as free shipping. The point is, if you can offer something which your main competition isn’t offering, then you’ll stand out.
Now, while it’s important to choose a value proposition that will help you stand out, you must also remember that the end goal is to gain and retain customers. Low prices or cutting-edge features might initially do the trick, but great customer service will always keep people coming back. Speaking of customer service…
Deliver Exceptional Customer Service
Excellent customer service should be a no-brainer, and yet many businesses don’t invest time or money in it. This is crazy, because the numbers suggest that keeping your customers happy is absolutely crucial to your business’ success. 91 percent of customers who have had an unpleasant customer experience will never do business with that brand again. These same disgruntled consumers will tell, on average, 16 of their friends and family about their bad experience!
There are many different ways to provide exceptional service, from offering 24/7 online support or motivated, knowledgeable on-site staff, to free product returns and loyalty rewards programs. The point is that your customers must feel cared for and appreciated. If your competition offers the same type of product or service, why would consumers choose your brand? Providing excellent customer service will humanize your brand, build emotional connections, and help forge powerful and long-lasting relationships, turning one-off buyers into loyal, lifetime customers who will keep coming back to your business over and over again.
Establish Yourself As An Expert Via Value-Add Marketing
There’s more to the customer relationship than simply selling a product. In order to stand out from the competition, your company must establish itself as the go-to expert in a particular industry or field. A great way to do this is through content and value-add marketing. In these instances, a company focuses on creating and delivering content that is helpful, informative, and emotionally investing. Blog posts, thought leadership pieces, webinars, and tutorials are all very public and very powerful ways to get your message across to potential customers and build a long-lasting relationship, and is especially to people who are already researching your specific company and market.