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How To Differentiate Your Business

small business marketing strategy

Be Different…or Compete on Price

If I ask you to tell me what makes your company better and different from your competition I’m very like to hear some variation of:

“Better Service” or “Better Quality”

But, can’t your competitors make those same claims? If I cover up the logos can I tell your website apart from your competitors’?

True, meaningful differentiation is hard. Really hard.

And yet, differentiation is the key to lasting competitive advantage and the linchpin to your ability to charge more for your products and services.  So, how do you understand and articulate your unique differentiation in your marketing?

Here are some ideas:

  • Make the competition irrelevant
    • Maybe instead of being a Tree Service company who’s really good at cutting down trees, you’re instead the company that always leaves the site cleaner than when you found it – in and out quickly, professionally and on-time. Messaging like this is much closer to addressing customers’ real problems versus just stating what you do (it’s assumed that you know how to cut down trees if you’re a tree service company).
  • Address problems – up front & guaranteed
    • Instead of being a “Little Rock’s Leading Plumber” deliver on a promise of being the plumber guaranteed to have your hot water heater repaired or replaced in 24 hours. That addresses a much more customer-centric problem.
  • Develop your story – and you’re NOT the hero
    • Your business should see itself as the Guide to solving customers’ problems, not the hero of your own story. Your customer is the hero on a journey to get their problems solved…with your guidance. Put the customer front and center in your messaging and you’ll be different than your competition.
  • Customer Experience matters
    • Do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it, at the rate you promised. And be easy to do business with and to buy from. This sounds like common sense (and it is) but when was the last time you had a lousy customer experience? Common sense is not always common practice.

Where do you start?

Talk to your best customers, in person on or the phone, ask them why do they really continue to do business with you. Can they tell you a time your business really came through for them? Many times, these conversations yield insights that you’ve taken for granted as “that’s just how we do business,” but it’s what your customers value most about you!

Those stories should be at the heart of your marketing messages through all your promotional channels. Do this consistently and you’ll see your conversion rates and overall profitability improve.

If you’d like to talk more about this, let’s schedule a conversation.



Photo by Will Myers on Unsplash