Do you fit in? Or stand out? Most startups and small businesses would go for the latter. Even so, it is notoriously difficult to avoid fitting in with the crowd in saturated markets.
That doesn't mean that it is a unicorn's dream to be distinctive. Many companies have solved the puzzle of how to get attention in a crowded field. Take Amazon. It is certainly not the first online retailer. It's just the one who broke the mold by being completely different.
If you want your brand to be memorable, here are the strategies you should apply to your daily workflow. Any idea can help your organization attract the attention of competitors in real, and often clever, ways.
You are an expert in what you do. Your entire team has years of expertise. Don't Hide What You Know: Flaunt It, "Humble Boast".
Why not create and share content for thought guidance, for example? Many publications eagerly accept well-written articles and opinions. Additionally, LinkedIn's self-publishing platform can be your soap box for advice on where to buy your morning coffee or how to manage your finances effectively.
Don't be afraid to compare yourself to your competitors Good. One of the best ways to share industry knowledge is through unbiased and informative reviews of all industry competitors. For example, if you are in the home warranty industry, you want your customers to feel confident that after reading reviews and research, they are choosing a great home warranty. Never underestimate the power of being seen as a point of contact for industry advice. Your popularity as a thought leader who shares knowledge generously could help you attract significant attention to your business.
Who doesn't love a good story, especially when it's true? Your company probably has an interesting history made up of unique components. Perhaps your founder overcame a physical disability early in life and shows tenacity, perseverance, and faith. Perhaps your product grew by recognizing and solving the pain point of an underserved community.
Take the time to create the backstory of your brand so that you can create an emotional bond with customers. If someone reads the story and thinks, "This brand suits me," they're more likely to send their available dollars – and referrals – your way.
As a side note, be sure to use your company history to guide and inform marketing campaigns, mission statements, and graphics.
Why do customers invest in one company over another, especially when their offerings are quite similar? The answer often boils down to customer service and the overall customer experience (CX.).
Let's say you are a cleaning company. You can't necessarily beat the competition in terms of price or speed. However, they can offer a memorable customer journey from start to finish. Focusing on top-notch interactions can break you out of shape. And people will definitely talk.
If you don't know how to make sure your CX is second to none, see what works for companies in non-competitive markets. What CX Practices Can You Borrow? How can you change successful CX strategies and use the concierge service for your customers? By answering these questions, you can be quick to make waves.
Think about your industry. Is there a catch that everyone overlooks? Or wipes away with a casual: “Oh, that's the way it is. Why rock the boat?” These are the magic words for innovation that is your key to major disruption.
Remember that anything can be changed, including what seems inevitable. If change wasn't an option, we would still be walking everywhere and possibly not have invented carriages, let alone trains and motorized vehicles.
Of course, Sherlock Holmes can find some of these hecks in the haystack. Type test. Consider bringing in industry outsiders to pinpoint the areas of friction in your business. Once you identify these problems, you can work out ways to overcome them. As long as your solution doesn't cause more serious problems, you can test it. Who knows? You could stay one step ahead of the giants in the industry by disrupting what everyone considers "normal".
Your co-workers are not like any other group of co-workers in the universe. Together they bring a new perspective to everything you do. Give them the tools and freedom they need to direct your differentiation.
First train the employees to think like entrepreneurs and to take responsibility for their roles and decisions. Give them the authority to solve problems even when a manager is not available. Offering a wide margin shows that you trust them, and trust is a key aspect of employee engagement, which is difficult given the current climate.
Remember: it is often your employees who introduce customers to your brand for the first time. When satisfied and excited, they will encourage consumers to patronize your business. As an added benefit, happy and knowledgeable employees attract other talented professionals. This means that as your business scale and your team grow, your company will get better and better.
It is understandable to be discouraged by the thought of differentiating yourself in a saturated market. However, do not allow yourself to wallow in the belief that as a "new kid" or "little guy" you may not get significant attention. Thinking about what's possible can put you in the center of attention (in a good way).