It’s a fact. When competition is based on price alone, smaller companies often find themselves squeezed by high-volume, low-priced competitors. How do you, as a small or mid-size business owner, survive in such an environment? You survive by differentiating yourself from the competition, creating a niche or identity that isn’t based on cut-rate pricing. In other words, you offer something that your competitors don’t offer, something that’s different.
The Competitive Edge
To truly differentiate your business, you need to identify your target customers and their needs. Let’s say your firm sells stereo speakers. You might decide to focus on serious audiophiles only. Such customers will likely pay a premium for higher performance, technological innovation, or customization. Perhaps you’ve dined at expensive restaurants that offer an unusual menu, a remarkable atmosphere, or superior service. Such eating establishments are often packed at the dinner hour. Why? Because customers perceive value in the products and services that these businesses offer, a value they’re willing to pay for.
The key is to identify the qualities that make your company different. How do you discover such qualities? One way is to study your competition. Clip their ads, examine their websites, buy their products and services. Determine what makes your product or service different and more valuable than that of your competitors.
Once you’ve identified the qualities that could set your company apart, it’s time to prioritize them. Decide which would be easiest to develop, which would address your customers’ most important buying criteria, and which would be hardest for your competitors to emulate.
Finally, seek to convey that value to your target customers. The goal is to “brand” your product, being clear about what you want to be in your customers’ minds.
If you need help identifying the qualities that could set your business apart, give us a call.