No matter what your business idea is, there will probably be a decent amount of competitors. There are many producers and service providers in all areas, so it is completely natural.
That’s why standing out is as important as ever. A lot of companies can offer similar products, all of the excellent quality. But it is what makes one different that brings the loyal clients in. How do you achieve that? Here are the actionable tips on that.
Research the Market
When you are working on your business idea, it is important to take time to research and plan. So, research the market, audiences, pain points, competitors, and their strategies. You need to know it in and out to understand what differentiates your idea.
Students, who are a considerable part of the entrepreneur population, might struggle with that. Surely, they do not have much time to spare because they deal with constant stress from college. Academic curriculums are notorious for overload with written assignments and endless papers due tomorrow.
Even doing research for the business idea after you’ve spent two days on academic research might be quite discouraging. Fortunately, it is possible to make both things possible – working on your small business and being successful academically. Students can get help from academic writing platforms like WritePaper.com, which assist with various aspects of college assignments. Experts will help with writing, editing, or proofreading an essay, research paper, thesis, or any task you need to take care of.
And you’ll get more time to do the market research.
Write Down Points of Difference
Now that you know what the market offers, you can focus on what makes you different. It can be
- a unique feature or product that has not existed before (which is pretty hard to do);
- a powerful value proposition, for example, a new way of doing a business that existed before (Uber is a great example);
- niche audience – target a group of people that is underrepresented or not addressed by competitors;
- social purpose – for example, a percent of proceeds always goes to a specific cause. Each pair of shoes bought helps someone in need, for example. Customers will not only enjoy a product but also feel that they’ve made a positive change in the world;
- great guarantee, like a lifetime warranty or year-long return guarantee – whatever is possible/applicable.
Or maybe your ideas address the specific issue that others have missed. Before you make these differences visible to others, ensure you know them well.
Invest in Branding
It is impossible to underestimate branding. It is a basis of brand recognition and awareness. It is also a “face” customers meet and respond to.
Think of all famous and successful brands. They all have a recognizable voice, colors, logotype, and style. No matter whether you want to boost your blog or build an eCommerce store, branding is the key to standing out.
Invest in the design of a logo and brand book that will represent the company, its mission, and values. Keep the branding consistent everywhere, whether it is a mobile app or magazine advertisement.
Know Your Competitors
You do not have to be obsessed with them. Yet, to stand out, you need to know who you are competing with.
Look at what makes them different and what strategies they use. Learn what strategies work well and what do not. Finally, think of the gaps you and your brand can fulfill.
While doing that, you can come up with ideas for your business. A good way to approach that is to do things differently than your competitors.
For example, if they always have sales on the traditional holidays, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, try the contrary. Choose not-so-well-known holidays that make sense for your idea/product and make a great offer on that day. Maybe it is International Cats Day on National Cookie Day.
Focus on Local Marketing
There are many aspects to marketing, from the content strategy to local SEO. For small businesses, it is always easier to stand out when focusing on the local market.
First of all, there is less competition with global producers usually. Secondly, local marketing is much more effective as it is aimed at a niche audience.
- strong digital presence with a stellar website and great mobile interface;
- management of local listings – add the company at Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Business;
- implementation of local SEO strategies;
- consistent contact information throughout all platforms (address, phone number, name);
- managing reviews – answer all of them, both positive and negative, to show clients that you care about their feedback.
It is also great to give back to the local community.
Launch Creative Campaigns
Another powerful way to be different is to implement a creative marketing strategy. Do not be afraid to take risks. However, be considerate of not being too controversial.
One can be creative on social media; a good example is Wendy’s Twitter account.
Also, consider offline opportunities. How can you make your brand visible on the streets? How can you grab people’s attention? It might sound difficult, but you need to think outside of the box. You can make a point by advertising an online program offline. The more creative a campaign is, the more attention it can potentially get.
For instance, Dove’s campaign on reshaping the understanding of beauty has been hugely successful in the last decade. If you look closely, the company’s commercials do not even feature products – only people. It is a creative campaign that remains innovative even today.
To make sure your business idea is unique, you need to understand the market, competitors, and the target audience. See how your product or service is different and what is original about your value proposition.
Do not do the traditional route; try to be creative with your campaigns. Search for a niche audience and the ways to relieve their concerns. Also, invest in local marketing and consider making a business social.