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3 Surefire Strategies to Help You Stand Out from the Competition

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

As a business owner, you need to know how to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

  • 80% of customers are willing to pay more for better customer service.
  • One-third of customers seek customizable products .
  • 50% of customers choose sociably responsible products.

As a business owner, you need to know how to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Business differentiation is what gives your brand the upper hand; it's how you distinguish yourself from your competitors in a way that piques interest and keeps customers happy.

It's important to know how to differentiate yourself from your competitors so that your brand stands out from all the rest in a positive way. If you find a way to distinguish your business from the next one that does something similar, you're already on track for better success.

Here are a few key ways to stand out and be unlike all the rest.

1. Have unbeatable customer service.

Fifty-two percent of marketers expect that customer service budgets will either decrease or stay the same in 2018, according to Gartner. This is a problem because it's also expected that as time goes on, the correlation between customer service to a business's success will only grow stronger. So the budgets for service should continue to go up as well.

How does this help you stand out from the crowd? Because you can put the focus of your company on your competitors' pain points by having the best customer service possible.

Take customer feedback seriously. Treat each customer like their experience is a unique one; act like they're your most important buyer. If you make it easier for your customers to do business with, you stand a foot taller than your competition.

Eighty percent of consumers are willing to spend more on a company if it means a better service experience, so why wouldn't you want to make your business more customer-based?

You can check social media to see what people like and dislike about your brand, and what can be improved for a more positive overall experience. Socials have a great impact on how businesses fare, and a couple of bad reviews could mean significantly less revenue.

2. Niche down.

You can't be the best at everything, and you shouldn't want to be. It's a waste of time. There's no possible way you'll be able to appeal to every single person out there. Everyone has different interests, needs and reasons that drive them to buy. It's not cost-effective to be so general in your approach that people are confused about your message.

Instead, you should niche down. Be the expert in a sea of generics.

Your niche market gives you the opportunity to market how your brand is different – and better – than your competitors. Do more for your customers than they expect from you. Go above and beyond to make sure their needs are met and that they're happy.

To do this, identify what your customers need from you and what matters most to them. Whether that's how quickly an issue gets resolved, a flexible return and exchange policy, or friendly engagement with employees, knowing these things will improve your ROI and get you positive reviews. The more emphasis you put on what you excel at, the happier your customers will be.

3. Add a personal touch.

Creating an emotional connection through your brand is critical to stand out. For every happy consumer, there are nine referrals that come out of it. That's a lot of extra business.

It's even better if you put extra focus on making your existing customers happy. It's 14 times more likely that you'll sell to an existing customer than a new one. They already have experience with your products and trust you as a brand, so it's easier to convince them to buy. This emphasizes the importance of building a relationship with long-time customers because they can easily become the bulk of your profits.

You can do this by making their buying experience simpler, knowing what they need and are looking for, and making your brand's message catered to them. Personalizing any aspect of your business is a step in the right direction to give your customers what they want.

There are many ways you can choose to be different from everyone else in the business world. These few should help you get started on a few things that really matter: your customers' experiences, how you brand yourself, and personalization. If you go the extra mile to ensure your consumers are happy, it'll do your business good.

4. Use price as a distinguishing factor.

Using price to distinguish yourself doesn't always mean offering the lowest price. Today's market allows for unique pricing models, including freemiums and subscribe and save.

Your prices should be competitive, but a race to the bottom doesn't benefit anyone. You may even consider higher prices in exchange for offering a higher quality product than the competition.

5. Give your customers options to customize your products.

According to the Deloitte Consumer Review, one-third of consumers seek out customized products specifically. They are also willing to pay 20% more for them, and in many cases, there's a minimal increase in production costs when customization is allowed. 

When it comes to standing out from the competition, giving your customers customization options can be the deciding factor. This allows them to stand out as well and tailor the product to their own preferences.

6. Be socially responsible.

A Nielson survey reported that 50% of consumers were willing to pay more for socially responsible products. Social responsibility can take many forms. Giving to charity, sustainable manufacturing, community programs, and fair benefits and wages for employees are a few. It shows that you are concerned about people instead of just the bottom line, and consumers want to purchase from companies they feel good about.

7. Use speed to your advantage.

If it's possible for you to deliver faster than the competition, it gives you an advantage. Particularly with online shopping, speed is often the deciding factor.  Customers want their products quickly, and they will choose the company that can deliver.

Image Credit: Rawpixel / Getty Images
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