If there’s one key to business success in a saturated market, it is your ability to make your business stand out from those of your competitors. The art of making your business stand out while also commanding attention in the marketplace is your competitive advantage.
Most prospects and customers conduct some type of research when they are about to make a purchase. When they conduct this research, it is your competitive advantage that will make them patronize your business over those of your competitors.[Great Read: 5 Key Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn from Barbara Bigford, a Successful Inventor and Entrepreneur]
What is a Competitive Advantage?
Competitive advantage is that thing or things that give you an edge over other businesses in the same industry as yours. Each person is different and so are their needs, therefore, everyone has preferences that make them gravitate toward one business over the other.
If you truly want to build a successful brand, your goal should be to identify the things that make your business stand out so you can attract the customer segment that will help you build a profitable brand.
What makes your business stand out? What aspect of your business do you think attract customers the most? Is it in terms of the speed of delivery? Is it your refund policy? Or is it how you resolve discrepancies? Other ways in which you can stand out is the quality of your merchandise. Is your brand ideal for high-quality earners only or do you operate a model that allows for two strati of income earners?[Great Read: How to Make Your Brand Attractive to Small Business Investors]
With competitive advantage, you can cater to a specific segment of the marketplace based on their preferences and use that to attract the right customers and thereby building a profitable brand. In addition, you can stand out in the marketplace by offering a “price match guarantee”.
This is when you offer your customers the same price as your competitors. This way you are basically saying if your customers find similar items from the same manufacturer as your competitors, you are ready to mark down your prices and sell at the same price as your competitor. This strategy can help allay fears which in turn helps you to attract and retain customers.
Finding Your Competitive Advantage
1. Research your competitors
To be at an advantage over your competitors, it’s important to note that researching what your competitor does is non-negotiable. If you do not know what your competitor does to attract customers, then you will not understand how to re-position your brand and attract quality customers. In researching your competitors, there are several ways you can go about it.
First, you can conduct a survey of your target customers. Second, you can visit your competitors’ websites to see how they run their business. If you are in the retail industry, you may check out the ease of ordering on their website and if they do not have a website, you can use it as your competitive advantage. Third, if your competitor operates from a physical location, you can visit the location to assess and observe how they run their business. The information you’ll learn will guide you in coming up with what makes you stand out.[Great Read: Content Creators: Here’s How You Can Make Money from Facebook]
2. Volunteer or serve at a higher-up’s business
What one way can you find out what your competitive advantage is, it is by serving or volunteering at a business that’s higher ups than yours but in the same industry. Volunteering or serving at a similar business gives you the first-hand opportunity to see ways in which your target audience are being underserved.
3. Ask your customers
One way to stand out is to ask your customers the questions, “how can I serve you better?” You will be surprised to know how many of your current customers are willing to provide you with the feedback you need to make the necessary adjustments. When you interview your customers, you’ll get access to quality information as to what you can do to serve them better and once you know what you can do, then go ahead and do it.
4. Stay up-to-date with current trends
Many business owners go incognito once they find their sweet spot. However, what they fail to realize is that sweet spots are transient. This means that what made you stand out last year might not necessarily make you stand out this year. In order to remain relevant, you must commit to staying up-to-date with current trends so you can introduce new concepts that your customers will love.
Once you know your competitive advantage, it is not yet time to go to sleep. You still need to find a way to let your customers know how you are different from your competitors. Always include how you are different in your marketing campaigns. Highlight your difference on your website, social media, branding materials, etc. frequently.
If you need any help with creating a digital marketing presence with your new competitive advantage in mind, Onpoint Success is just a click away. Contact us today and let us help you build a profitable brand.
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