Differentiate Your Business and Rise Above the Competition

One vital component of building a highly recognizable brand for your business is to find its unique attributes, and then build upon them. Take a look at the highly successful companies in the business world and you’ll see that they have something in common – they’ve discovered how they can provide their customers with products and service that they can’t get anywhere else. They provide quality and a customer relationship that keeps customers returning and purchasing.

The first step in the differentiation process is competition research. List your major competitors and gather all of the business intelligence available about their products, services, corporate structure and size, corporate culture, mission and vision statements, pricing structures and customer service policies. Don’t forget copies of their ads, brochures, business cards and any other collateral materials that you can access. Evaluate all of this and ask yourself the following:

• Which competitors represent the closest match to your business?

• What are the strengths of these competitors – product range, price, years in business, established customer base, excellence in customer service?

• What are your competitor’s chief weaknesses?  

o Are they in an out of the way location? Do they operate a mediocre website or no website at all?

o Do they suffer from a lack of strategic advertising, or leave something to be desired in terms of service?

• Is there anything absolutely unique about your competitors and the way they conduct business? Read testimonials, if they are available, and find out the things that their customers appreciate most. Is there anything that they do that you can’t offer?

Make a list of all of this information, and then turn your attention to your own business. Gather your own information together and compare it. Include all the documentation listed above. Spread everything out and honestly evaluate your business from a comparative viewpoint.

After you’ve taken some time to let it all sink in, ask yourself:

• What unique qualities do you see in your business that the competition lacks?

o Do you offer discounts and special promotions more often?

o Do you offer a larger product range with hard to find items?

o Is your service department more extensive? Do you offer deep shipping discounts?

o  Do you have a more modern and appealing storefront or website?

o Have you adopted a community issue to sponsor or champion?

• What are you able to promise and deliver to your customer base that you’re competition cannot?

o Do you have network connections that can deliver merchandise at a lower price?

o Can your company innovate and create new products or services that enhance your current offerings?

o Can you partner with a related business to offer dual promotions and increase your exposure?

o Is your service team uniquely qualified to offer training and consultation?

These suggestions are meant to get your analytical juices flowing. The actual questions you’ll ask will depend upon the type of business you own, your distinctive market and methods of promotion and delivery.

Next, make a list of all of the differences between your products or services and those of your closest competitors. Consider selection, price, quality, speed and method of delivery. Then consider ways to use these differences as a way of positioning your business as special, unique and able to handle the needs and preferences of your customers as no other business can.

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My God you people are amazing! I'm going to have to get some help on this...I can't decide because they're all so great. I'll let you know.

Thanks so much Lilian!!! Wow!!!

JD - Greenergy2030 Certified Business

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