Make Innovation Your New BFF ... And 4 Other Ways to Beat the Competition

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: September 13, 2017
Photo credit: zamzawawi isa/Shutterstock

As a business, it is essential for you to maintain your position in the market and stay ahead of your competitors. Here are five ways to beat even the toughest business rivals.

Competition exists in every market. Smarter companies nullify the effect of competitors in order to stay ahead in the business.

So, how do they do that? Here are five simple yet powerful ways to beat your business competitors.

1. Identify and solve the pain points of your customers.

Take a survey and list all the pain points of your customers. It is essential to ask open-ended questions to find exactly what your customers want while using your products or services.

The key here is to provide solutions to the prospects and supply them what they need as opposed to selling them what you want to sell. You only need to fulfill the need, not "sell" anything. Your product or service will automatically start to sell more the moment you fill the void that your competitors are lacking.

2. Build your own niche to have more room for your business.

A market that's already crowded has less scope for expansion. It is essential to offer something unique to your customers in order to build your own niche and minimize the existing competition.

Storytelling is a great way to build your own niche by creatively crafting stories around your products. With the help of stories, you can become a part of your prospect's lifestyle, not remain a stand-alone product or service. Burst offers free stock photography that you can use for creating and promoting stories about your brand across social media.

Specialization always leads to a scalable and successful business. A niche market is reliable, and the prospects are easier to target. Moreover, the customer retention rate is good. Start targeting locally relevant platforms where your target customers might be present and adopt a niche marketing strategy for them.

3. Get the pricing correct.

Perfect pricing strategy revolves around marketing psychology. Before you set your own pricing strategy, it is essential to know the competition. You must identify who is offering the best value for money. The price you set should be standard and must have a competitive advantage.

A great pricing strategy does not always mean lowering the prices of existing products in order to win more customers. Every market is divided into three segments – the lower, middle and upper class. The first step is to identify the class you are targeting. Once you get an answer to that, it will be much easier to set a price that your audiences will love to pay. Sequoia's guide to pricing strategy covers all the tactics to help you set a pricing strategy that can beat your competitors.

4. Make innovation your best friend.

Change is the only thing in this world that is permanent.

Urban Outfitters was able to create a powerful disruptive force because it hired artists instead of businesspeople to manage its stores. They had full freedom in shaping the interiors of their stores, and the result was remarkable. Every Urban Outfitter store was unique, while the competitors' stores all looked the same. The company was able to raise revenues by a massive 500 percent to around $3 billion in the last 10 years.

Innovate with your products and services, and don't hesitate to take the risk. For example, you could add enhanced capabilities to your existing business processes using virtual reality applications like Samsung Gear VR.

Giants like Nokia and BlackBerry were wiped out from the smartphone market because of lack of innovation. Always remember that your competitors are regularly innovating and new entrants are disrupting the marketplace. Your business should innovate often and in a manner that the competition finds hard to follow.

5. Improve your customer service.

People love businesses that provide exceptional customer service. If you delight your customers with great service, you'll make loyal customers who will refer your business to their family and friends.

Hire staff who have a good understanding of your products or services. Ensure that they remain patient and provide satisfying answers to every customer query.

Your staff should greet customers with a pleasing smile and must show gratitude. It is essential to boost the team spirit of your staff and hire team players. Remember to reward the team players, as employees need constant motivation to outperform others.

Your customer care team should always remain courteous and respectful. They must always be responsive to customer queries. They should have a problem-solving approach and always ask for customer feedback. Customer-centric companies are powered by dependable staff who raise the level of customer satisfaction.

It is essential to define your brand, set a USP, and stay ahead of your competition in terms of quality, price and customer service. Moreover, you must talk with your customers so that you can retain them for a lifetime.

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