Market Your Point of Difference

Smiling barista standing behind a counter in a cafe taking a credit card from a customer to pay for her purchase

One reason why people will choose your product or service over a competitor’s is the perceived, real or otherwise, difference to similar ones in the marketplace. You’ll need to find a competitive advantage over your rivals to make your business comparatively more appealing in the marketplace.

Doing business with you should be more attractive and compelling than with your competitors. A brand positioning strategy can help your business focus on the key ingredients that will set it apart from the crowd. It should be simple and needs to easily connect with potential customers.

Consider your options

Your primary marketing goal should be to create a unique point of difference. It will make your business stand out from your competitors and convince consumers to choose your product or service.

Your point of difference, also known as a unique selling point, needs to be the key benefit that you want your target market to associate with your product or service.

Your customers should have a favorable perception of your business so identifying a point of difference can be vital to achieving that outcome. Some areas of difference you might consider include:

  • Customer service.
  • Convenience.
  • Specific benefits of your product or service.
  • Your business story.
  • Variety.
  • Price.

Consult your customers

If you already have customers, survey them to find out what they’re really wanting from you and your competitors. Consumer knowledge is crucial to finding your unique point of difference.

You may find out that the reason why you thought your customers choose your business wasn’t actually the reason why they keep coming back. They may be motivated by something you hadn’t even considered, making this research critical.

Sometimes, customers will be more loyal to a brand that they can relate to. Consumers who show a positive response to a business story they correlate with will sometimes become emotionally connected.

Make your business look unique

The simplest way you can make your business more unique and transparent is by telling your story. Tell potential customers how your business started, your role and what you put into your product or service for them.

Start by listing the steps you take from product or service initiation through to end delivery to your customers.

You can then use this list to form the basis of your business’s story, which can ultimately build your entire marketing strategy.

Differentiate from the competition

You might start out with exactly the same product or service commonly available in the marketplace, but add features that differentiate it from the pack.

It’s difficult to stand apart from the competition in a global marketplace. You’ll need to talk about the special features of your product or service to gain interest from potential buyers.

Determine your key strengths and weaknesses against your competition. Examine your three main competitors and take a close look at what your personal business brings to the table in comparison to them.

Focus on your market

An effective technique for a small business that’s struggling to compete against larger operations is to serve a specific market better than the rest. One example could be a small hardware store that can’t compete on price. To build a competitive edge, it focuses on a wider range of certain tools and equipment, while training its staff to be more knowledgeable about the hardware it sells.

In this example, the business develops expertise in the products it sells, which becomes its competitive advantage.

Contemplate cost leadership

By closely monitoring the costs of your business, you can aim to become a cost leader in your market. You want your business to operate at its highest possible level of efficiency so you can compete on price and use it as a competitive advantage in your industry.

This strategy can be risky, as you’ll push down the price and potentially start a price war with your competitors. Whoever has the most resources to sustain smaller margins will eventually come out on top.

After you determine your unique point of difference, focus on developing a marketing strategy that will show off your competitive advantage. 

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

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