It’s vital to create a way to differentiate your business, from all the other businesses that claim to offer the same product or service as you. This is a key component when developing your marketing strategy. In this blog post I will share 5 tips to help you differentiate your business in a way that’s meaningful to your ideal customer.
1. Know your customers needs/problems
Your business will ideally solve a problem or meet the need of your ideal client. So you need to find out what this need is, and position yourself to be best business to solve this problem.
You can make all the assumptions in the world about what your clients need, but researching your potential customers needs and truly understanding how they make purchase decisions is how you can position yourself as the business to solve that problem or meet that need.
My advice is to get out and speak to your potential ideal clients and find out what their needs and problems are. And identify how you can serve them in a unique and remarkable way.
2. Analyse your reviews
Another great place to look for clues as to how you differentiate your business, is reading your reviews. So head to your Google My Business page and read your Google reviews. Then have a look at your Facebook reviews. Read through your client testimonials on your website too.
You will start to notice some common themes, language and words being used. This can help you really understand what’s important to your ideal client. And how you can position yourself to stand out from your competitors. It may be something really simple.
3. Examine your competitor sites
Have a read through the first couple of opening paragraphs of a few of your competitors websites. Chances are they all probably sound quite similar and offer the same kind of product or service. Now look at your own website. Is it really clear who you help? How you help them? How you improve their life? And how they can purchase from you?
We all have a point of difference sometimes you just need to dig a little deeper to find out exactly what it is. It’s there I promise!
4. Research your customers
A really effective way to find out what you do well and how you differentiate your business is to conduct some research with your existing clients. Sit down and have coffee with 5 or 10 of your best customers and ask them the following questions:
- What made you decide to use our business/purchase our products over another business offering the same?
- What’s one thing that we do really well?
- What’s one thing that we could do better?
- Do you refer us to friends and family and if so what do you say about our business?
- How did you find us e.g. Google, Facebook, referral from a friend?
A customer may tell you that you just provide really great service, well then you need to dig a little deeper and find some examples of a specific situation that you provided great service. You will find a wealth of knowledge in this kind of customer research.
5. Don’t be afraid to niche
My final tip is don’t be afraid to niche your business, because there is a specific niche of customers that you will enjoy working with, and that you have the skills and experience to work with. It’s very tempting when you are just starting out in business to be all things to everyone, and take any business you can get.
However this may mean that you end up taking on clients that you are not that suited to work with, and they end up having a poor customer experience as they were never a good fit for your business.
So sit down and think about who you enjoy working with and why. And have a look and see what kind of customers these are and are they in a specific industry. Then that’s your niche, that’s who you want to attract. And your niche can be your differentiator.
Examples of differentiation
Below I have outlined some examples of brands I have used that have differentiated themselves in ways that are memorable and keep me as a loyal customer:
- Mura Boutique – This is an online clothing store and they sent this really cute card for International Womens Day with my order, which I could write on and send to someone that inspires me. Such a lovely little touch.
- Hello Molly – An online clothing store, they sent me a handwritten card with my order, saying that they knew I would look beautiful in my new dress and that they were really appreciative of my order and the fact that I was a customer. It made me feel special.
- Apple – Their packaging, it’s well designed, causes a bit of suspense when you open your new iPhone as it’s vacumed as you are pulling off the lid, and then the phone is finally revealed. And also a key point of difference of Apples is their staff, and the training they receive. It’s always an amazing experience in the Apple store.
- Owning It – These are quarterly events organised by Kerrie Allen from Gameface and Lanna Hill from One Small Step Business Coaching. At the first event I attended we were all given a postcard and we had to write a postcard to ourselves saying how we were going to own it going forward, what area of our life were we going to have the courage to dominate, and then the cards were posted to us about 2 months later. Really cool little touch, especially reading back on what we had written.
So as you see your point of difference may be your unique service, your special little touches, the material you use to make a product, your packaging or it could simply be you and your staff.