Question: If you're not the first in your space, how do you differentiate your company from the other businesses that do the same thing?
Offer Lower Prices
"This is our company 100 percent. We beat everyone's price. Nobody can beat us. If you're looking to differentiate yourself from your larger competitors, you need to cut the price or have a MUCH better service. We decided to cut the price. It's working well so far!"
Focus on One Thing
"If you find your company is not in first place in comparison to your competitors, a method of differentiation is to focus on one aspect of your business product/feature and make it the best in your space. The second step is to market the focused product/feature explaining how it is better than your competition."
Improve Upon Customer Feedback
"Just because a company is first in your space doesn't mean everything about them is good. Look for what the customers say and keep an eye on finding the strengths and weaknesses in the space. Once you identify the strengths and weaknesses, get creative and innovate, helping you differentiate yourself from the crowd and offer a solution consumers are seeking."
Differentiate at the Strategy Level
"I'm a consultant, and anyone can offer the same types of services. But not everyone can provide the same level of strategic planning I do. There are lots of consultants and some are better than others. What sets the great consultants apart, regardless of their niche, is their strategy. My strength is in strategy and executing the strategy. What's your strength? That's your differentiating factor."
"Doing what everyone else does is comfortable and "safe," but stir some controversy and do something drastically different! It takes courage, but focus on one thing you think others are doing incorrectly, or not doing at all, and consistently demonstrate how you're bucking the trend. Then, shout it from the rooftops in all of your marketing and communication."
Market Your Individuality
"Your business branding should be focused on showing potential customers how you stand out from similar companies. Emphasize these aspects of your business’s identity and your customers will take note."
Make Your Core Values Reflect Something New
"In the business of luxury mattresses, I’m faced with several competitors who produce good, high-quality products for the same market as me. However, I am the only one who emphasizes the green technology that goes into making my products. By planting a stake in the ground in advocating for environmental protection, I make my values known to my customers and stand out from the crowd."
Emphasize Your Unique Strengths
"For our company, we lean on four differentiators. First, we promote our unique investment thesis and our superior customer service, including response time to inquiries. We also have a unique business model that differentiates us from other companies. And finally, it’s important for us to show that we are investing and more than just a manager."
Clearly Define Your Added Value
"Think of yourself as a potential client. What would make you choose your company over your competitors? How is your business relevant to your market, and where does it stand out compared to the current players? Do some research on your market and industry trends, and use this information to determine your added value. That will be your competitive advantage."
Look Into Other Industry Leaders
"It can be extremely helpful to look into other industries than your own and see what their leaders are doing when trying to differentiate. Even if you are not in tech, you can still look at Apple's business plan and marketing strategies and utilize them in your own way. Looking into other industry leaders may open your mind outside of the "box" of what your competition is already doing."
Focus on Quality of Process
"You can really beat your competition by making it easier to do business with you than with them. Consider things like their refund policy, satisfaction guarantees or any other barriers to doing business that they have in place. Check reviews to verify if those barriers are a pain point with consumers, and if they are, streamline or remove them in your own company."