If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you most probably know the statistics around business failure rates. About 50% of businesses make it past the first five years, and one-third make it past the 10-year line. Although there are many reasons why businesses fail, lack of differentiation is one of the most common causes.
Standing out from your competition is critical to your company’s success. While most people seem to understand this concept, many businesses fail to put it into practice.
If you want to have a successful business today, you have to differentiate your business in order to stand out and get noticed.
- Be authentic
Your brand needs to demonstrate authenticity. If you respond to all your followers on social media with the same copied and pasted response, people are going to see you as a soulless machine that cares only about money. Instead, show your human side. Invest in the “personality” of your brand, and speak to customers the way you would speak to your close ones.
Furthermore, if you don’t care about your brand’s mission, your audience will notice. They’ll question your integrity with your business and stop trusting your brand. But if your customers trust you, you’ll start standing out from your competition.
- Share your story
Back in the days, having a unique brand wasn’t something necessary. That’s because starting a business was not accessible to most people. You’d either need enough money to launch your business or have the credentials.
Today, technology has disrupted many of the past barriers. For example, a student can launch a Podcast within a week, create a website for a day, and if he’s persistent, he can have many followers and get paid by sponsors.
This is great news for aspiring entrepreneurs, but there’s more competition than ever.
So, to stand what, it’s a good idea to share your story with your audience. For example, If you are a freelance writer, you can share how you’ve overcome writer’s block. The more your audience can relate to you, the better.
- Niche down
Don’t try to help the entire world and all people, instead, try to focus on helping a specific group of people. Many ambitious entrepreneurs are willing to help almost everyone because they want to bring in more business. But the truth is that if you resonate with everyone, you resonate with no one.
Niching down is necessary if you hope to stand out from your competition. Determine which customers you enjoy working with the most and determine which customers bring in the most revenue. Once you’ve gathered enough data, focus on servicing your ideal customer.
Remember, the results won’t be immediate since this won’t be an easy transition. If you’re currently helping a narrow audience, slowly transition into a niche audience.
It’s easy to blend in if your message isn’t consistent. If your brand standards aren’t clearly defined, or you have multiple people executing those standards to varying degrees of effectiveness, you might repel your audience. The goal is to get your followers and readers to stick around; but to do that, you need to give them a sense of familiarity and predictability.
- Be the brand people can depend on
Being the brand your customers can depend on is crucial. How many times have you bought a product that’s failed on its promise because it had built high expectations?
In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, studies on human psychology show that when you give to others, they’ll reciprocate. Offer your customers free consulting, or a free ebook, or something else, and eventually, they’ll be happy to reciprocate after receiving value from you. Make it your mission to serve your customers first and then worry about making a profit.
Furthermore, you can inspire your customers. Remember, a business isn’t only about selling, it’s also helping customers achieve their goals.
Company’s brands can stand out by offering more value than their competitors. You might offer value by informative content, or a strong dedication to personalised customer service. Originality plays a role here, so try to think carefully about how to appeal to your customers.