As market competition intensifies, businesses strive to distinguish themselves from competitors. But what can you do when hundreds of companies worldwide offer similar services and products? You need to develop a clear marketing strategy that will make your business unique in customers’ eyes.
Keep reading to discover effective ways to differentiate yourself in the market and explore why you need a strong marketing team to conduct competition research.
How to make your business better than your competitors?
According to Oberlo, 1.34 million new businesses have emerged in just the second quarter of 2023, marking a 7.1% increase from the same period in 2022. This statistic underscores the ongoing rise in competition, but it’s not all negative—competition fuels development and propels the economy forward.
FAQ: How can you make your business better than your competitors?
The secret to making your business better than competitors lies in providing exceptional services and delivering customer satisfaction. For example, you can implement unique features into your products, addressing customer pain points. Also, it’s crucial to maintain clear communication with your clients. Provide them with the opportunity to share their feedback, and resolve their issues.
#1 Make your customer service exceptional
When you’re building a business, it might feel like your services or products are flawless. But let’s face it: perfection is a bit of a myth. Even the most promising companies encounter negative customer reviews. What really matters is how you handle them. To stay ahead of your brand competitors, show empathy—tackle your customers’ issues, reply to their messages, and resolve controversial situations. Based on statistics gathered by Khoros, brands that address and resolve consumer complaints successfully earn the loyalty of 83% of their clients.
Take a look at the excellent example of Apple. To deliver top-notch service, the company came up with Genius Bars. These are service centers where users can get professional technical help. Most of the services are free, regardless of the product’s warranty status.
#2 Address client pain points
Customers may face multiple challenges when interacting with your brand:
- Process difficulties (complicated sales transactions, prolonged deployment times, dealing with disorganized help centers);
- Financial misunderstandings (hidden fees);
- Lack of support (slow response time, low issue resolving rates, insufficient product knowledge);
- Product drawbacks (inconvenient workflows, non-functional features).
This applies to all companies in the market, but your task is to solve users’ problems, not create them. Take a deep dive into all aspects of your company and spot weak points. Also, remember to consistently seek feedback from your customers to get a better understanding of how to serve them.
For example, online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos offers a 365-day return policy. This addresses one of the biggest issues for consumers in this segment—the inability to try on the product. The company understands that such items require careful selection and may not fit all.
FAQ: How can you surpass your competitors in business?
To surpass your business competitors, introduce niche products or services. For example, if you manufacture furniture, it’s possible to narrow down your target audience to offline stores or design agencies rather than the B2C market. This approach involves providing unique solutions to your buyers.
#3 Act differently
The competition in marketing is tough nowadays because it’s hard to come up with something completely unique in the 21st century. Companies often end up developing similar products and services. To stand out, you need to reinvent your business models. This means coming up with new ways to interact with your products and service delivery experimentations.
Taxis have been around since the 17th century, but when Uber entered the market, it completely changed consumers’ perceptions of this service. The company shifted from traditional dispatcher calling and designed a user-friendly app where consumers can take and track rides.
#4 Narrow down your niche
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is thinking that everyone needs their products or services. This is especially true for mass-produced products, like food, for example. Many such companies aim at individual consumers when they could be selling to big retail chains and raking in more profit. It all starts with understanding your target audience and determining what your customers need.
In recent years, the concept of multi-purpose marketplaces has become quite popular. Amazon lets you order anything from gadgets to food supplements. But Etsy took a different route, providing only handcrafted and vintage goods. Buyers visit this marketplace to purchase items that they might not find anywhere else. This is what’s called competitive marketing intelligence.
#5 Be socially responsible
According to Porter Novelli, 88% of respondents believe it’s no longer good for companies to profit at the expense of society. These findings highlight the need for organizations to establish Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and ensure their employees are well-informed about them.
You can employ various methods to care for the planet, such as implementing environmental practices, refraining from animal testing, and ensuring the well-being of your employees. The key is for your social initiatives to be sincere.
A great example of a socially responsible company is Patagonia, the outdoor apparel brand. It donates 1% of its sales to environmental causes and adopts sustainable practices. For example, Patagonia introduced The Worn Wear program, encouraging customers to reuse their clothing.
The importance of marketing in competitive differentiation
Building brand differentiation involves efforts from various teams, but when it comes to letting customers know what makes your company, product, or service special, that’s where marketing takes the lead. Marketers not only handle external communication of these unique aspects but also stay on top of market trends and competitive intel to spot opportunities for standing out.
The most common marketing strategies to deal with competition are:
- Developing a unique selling proposition. To set yourself apart from competition, ensure your customers know how your product or service can benefit them.
- Content marketing. Through valuable and relevant content, you can tackle your customers’ concerns, guide them on using your products, and showcase your brand’s personality.
- Social media marketing. Promoting on social media lets you connect with your audience and get ongoing feedback.
- Personalized offerings. This helps you show that you care about your customers and understand their needs. With analytical tools, you can fine-tune personalized email campaigns.
- Value-based pricing. This is a business model where you set rates based on how much value customers see in your product or service. It helps you determine if your product resonates with consumers and spot areas for improvement.
FAQ: How can you stand out from your competitors?
To stand out from your competitors, you need a strong marketing strategy. This means staying in the current market situation, detailing your target audience, and building an action plan according to the results. Your marketing strategy should meet specific customers’ needs and be flexible. For example, you can run your business blog, launch brand social media accounts, or host insightful online events. Be visible to your target audience!
Even with the market getting more competitive each year, it’s crucial to keep running your business. The appearance of new companies signals ongoing demand from consumers, keeping the economy moving forward. But to stand out among competitors, you must craft a solid marketing strategy that ensures top-notch customer service, tackles consumer pain points, and rethinks your current approaches.