In a connected world where you can be the only game in town one minute, and suddenly competing with a new rival from halfway around the world, it’s never been more important to distinguish yourself from the competition.
For very small businesses, their advantage might lie in being able to adapt and change faster than their larger counterparts.
Companies with more resources might find that their edge lies in heavily investing in innovation and technology. Here we look at some of the strategies and techniques that any business, no matter how big or small, can use to play to their unique strengths.
1- Personalize your Sales Approach
Truly connecting with your target audience means going beyond the numbers, statistics, and demographics. It also means truly gaining an understanding of who your customers are, so you can give them what they really want.
What issues do they face? What challenges do they have? And most important of all, how you can you make it easier for them to overcome those challenges?
If lots of people want your product or service but simply can’t afford it, how can you make it more affordable? If the technical aspects of your offering are intimidating to the average man on the street, how can you make it easy to understand?
2 – The Power of Packaging
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but the way you package your product can make a huge difference to its appeal.
One of the hottest trends right now (and hopefully the new norm) to jump on is packaging that’s more eco-friendly. In fact, 44% of millennials surveyed are willing to pay more for sustainable gift bags, and that number is only growing. Combining this with a design that appeals to your target market aesthetically too is a win-win for everyone.
3- Expand to a Larger Market
If your local market has become saturated and you aren’t able to change up your offering enough to stand out, it might be time to explore new territories.
An item or service that’s become a household name in your home country might still be thought of as new and exotic elsewhere, and many countries are actively encouraging foreign investment by making opening up shop there very attractive. Setting up a company in Mauritius, for example, has never been easier thanks to forward-thinking legal and fiscal frameworks as well as attractive tax incentives. It just happens to be a pretty nice place to live too! Establishing a presence across the globe is one way to quite literally leave your competitors behind.
4- Get Behind a Cause
Most of us want to do our little bit to make the world a better place but figuring out how isn’t always easy.
Make it simple for your customers by getting behind a worthy cause and supporting it on their behalf.
If contributing to a children’s charity, environmental organization or other non-profit is as easy as choosing your product over your competitors, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay more. And if your offering is already similarly priced, you’ve now got a massive advantage, all while doing something good.
5- Make your website exceptional
If your website is your first point of contact with a potential customer, then it’s got to be impressive.
That doesn’t mean fancy graphics and animations that require a world class web developer – often it’s just the opposite.
When you walk into a physical store, you want to be able to locate the products you’re looking for quickly and easily, not be dazzled with a light show or in-house movie.
If you need advice, you want a handy salesperson to be available and easy to spot. All the same rules apply to a virtual store. It needs to be super easy to navigate, and new visitors need to be able to see at a glance where they can find additional help, ask questions, or get in touch with you. It needs to load quickly, be accessible on any device, and have up to date information. Once you’ve ticked all those boxes, then you can let the mad graphic designer loose.
6- Give your Customers more Flexible Payment Options
If your product or service comes with a significant price tag, you can make it more accessible to a wider range of customers by offering more flexible payment options. Investigate the possibilities of allowing customers to pay via monthly installments, for example.
7 – If you can’t beat them join them
Competition doesn’t have to be outright war. Sometimes it’s better to team up, combine your resources, and achieve more together. If you’re in a no-win situation with a long-term competitor, it might be time to extend the olive branch and see if you can’t come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.