Essential Steps to Differentiate Yourself
The question is obvious – and critical to the success your business.
The answer – and a strategic course of action – may not be so clear.
What differentiates you from the competition?
If you can’t explain what sets you apart, what you do that others don’t, and why you are better than all the rest, be prepared to join other companies and products that fade into the wallpaper of business ho-hum mediocrity.
In the marketing world of the Kinetic Agency, we’re talking about unique value propositions (UVPs). Others may call them unique selling propositions (USP). Whatever the acronym, they tell potential customers why they should spend their money or time with you rather than another. The benefits you provide are obvious and desirable.
If you offer nothing special, nothing that makes you memorable or desirable, perhaps you need to work to identify or create the differentiating qualities that add value over the competition.
Here are five examples of global companies with strong value propositions that set them apart:
- Apple – user-friendly, unique, secure, aspirational experience.
- Uber – super convenience, just request, ride and pay.
- Unbounce – build, publish and A/B test landing pages with no IT support.
- Slack – flexible messaging/productivity app that simplifies working lives.
- Digit – a hands-off saving app that is fully automated.
At Kinetic, our strong UVPs include our reputation for cutting-edge creativity and customer service that treats clients as partners. You don’t find that at most agencies.
Here are a few to help you:
OFFER UNMATCHED CUSTOMER SERVICE: Treat each customer like they are your only customer. Imagine life with NO customers. Then imagine how you’d serve your one precious client. Apply that same “nothing-is-too-good-for-my-customer” treatment to everyone you do business with. They will notice and your business will stand out.
KNOW YOUR NICHE: Few companies can be all things to all customers. Focus your energies on the services, products, and skills that uniquely benefit that specific niche. Your expertise and engagement with the customers who really count will increase. Find out what problems they have and offer solutions.
STAY FRESH, INNOVATE: The competition is always on your heels. They want to steal your best ideas and then your customers. If you don’t innovate and keep pushing the envelope to do more for them, customers could be lured away. Can you solve a persistent problem or make a good product even better?
SHARE YOUR STORY: If you don’t tell your story, who will? Be aggressive (but not annoying) about sharing news of your company – new products, services, and success stories. Being active on social media is essential. Having an easy-to-navigate website is critical. Make sure you can be easily found. Develop a reputation as the expert through media appearances, YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts and regular email communication with customers.
DELIVER AMAZING VALUE: Whether through your pricing, service packaging, training offers or customer support, differentiate yourself in the value that your people and processes bring to the relationship. Aggressive pricing can be a slippery slope if opinions change from “that’s a great value” to “they’re the cheapest.” Delivering high-quality products and services at an amazing price doesn’t require bargain-basement pricing. Offer guarantees and incentives. Also, a big part of the value is being there to help after hours and in an emergency. Are you available?
So, how do you stand out? Do you offer one-of-a-kind products or unparalleled service? Or both? If you can’t explain to potential customers why you’re the one for them, you’ll become part of the product wallpaper.