As it stands, 58% of consumers are not brand loyal. So how do you stand apart from the competition and capture the attention and hearts of customers? By discovering what sets you apart from other solution providers. You must establish your identity, command your market share and sell more. It’s time for you to find your business niche and brand differentiator. Position yourself well and start letting competitors know you’re here to stay. Get a jump start on competitors; continue reading to discover how to set your business apart.
What is a Business Niche? Why Do I Need One?
A business niche is a specific area or market segment where a business operates and focuses its efforts.
It refers to a particular subset of a larger industry or markets a business serves.
By defining a niche, a business can create a unique value proposition, target specific customers, and differentiate itself from competitors.
By focusing on a specific niche, salespeople can tailor their messaging and approach to meet that particular market segment’s unique needs and interests.
This method helps salespeople establish themselves as experts in that niche and build credibility and trust with potential customers.
Furthermore, by specialising in a niche, salespeople can differentiate themselves from other salespeople by targeting a broader, more general market.
Overall, this helps them stand out in a crowded market and increases their chances of success.
Also read: Stand Out, Sell More: How To Differentiate In The Selling Process
Why Businesses Fall Short
As much as you might want to believe that your products will benefit everyone, the truth is not everyone feels the same way you do.
Have you heard the expression “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none”?
Most businesses fall short because they try to be all things to everyone.
Therefore, your first challenge is to discover your niche. Don’t worry about excluding markets.
Also read: The Secret To Getting Ahead When Responding To RFPs
How To Stand Out From The Competition
In today’s competitive business environment, standing out from the crowd is more important than ever.
Whether you’re selling products or services, there’s likely to be stiff competition vying for the attention of your target customers.
To succeed in this environment, you must differentiate yourself from your competitors and demonstrate why you offer a unique and valuable solution.
Below we’ll explore some strategies for standing apart from the competition to sell more effectively.
Standing apart from the competition usually comes down to positioning.
While there’s no right or wrong answer, you need to pick at least one of these categories below to stand apart from your competition.
If you’re not among the top three within your chosen area of differentiation, you will get lost.
However, the first step to differentiating yourself from the competition is asking yourself these questions and reflecting on the answers.
Detecting your niche is about finding customers suited to your purpose, expertise and market trends.
Ask yourself the following questions: On a scale of one to five, with one being “not at all” and five being “absolutely”:
- Are you the oldest and largest business in your industry?
- Do you have the biggest selection available?
- Are you offering the lowest price guarantee?
- Do you guarantee the fastest delivery?
- Are you offering the hottest, newest products or services?
- How passionate am I about this market?
- Could I easily position myself as an expert?
- Is this market actively seeking solutions to their problems?
2. Conduct Market Research
Once you’ve reflected on where you currently stand, you can zone in on the specifics by conducting market research. Here are a few strategies to consider:
- Identify and make a note of customer needs and pain points.
- Analyse a vast amount of competitor offerings
- Track industry trends
- Utilise data analytics
- Network with industry experts
3. Define Your Brand: 5 Common Brand Differentiators
Critically, If you’re not among the top three within your chosen area of differentiation, you will get lost. Let’s talk about each of these categories.
Established vs New Brands
The strength of an organization’s history can be a strong enough selling point with customers. Similarly, you can go in the opposite direction. You could position your business as being the new kid on the block. You could position yourself as innovative, cutting edge, and full of fresh ideas or compared to being established, trusted, and an authority in your industry.
Mass vs Niche Market Brands
Another way to differentiate yourself is by having the most extensive selection available. I’m sure you know some mass retail stores that have adopted this differentiation strategy very well – whatever you’re looking for, they’ve got it!
At the opposite end of the spectrum are companies that target a specific niche market. They specialize in offering a particular type of product or service.
Low-Priced vs Luxury Brands
Maybe you want to offer the lowest price, which is certainly an option- although it’s not one that I recommend for most businesses.
What often ends up happening is that customers start seeing your products or services as a commodity with no real value. They end up negotiating your price down to nothing.
Yet, there might be situations where you can genuinely acquire your inventory from manufacturers and suppliers at a substantially lower price than your competitors acquire their inventory.
Or perhaps you’re able to eliminate intermediaries and sell directly to the consumer at a much lower price than your competition can. So, in cases like this, offering the lowest price guarantee could be a good way of differentiating your business.
Service vs No Service Brands
One way of positioning your business is by offering the fastest delivery or fastest service – being quick to respond or having a fast turnaround time.
For example, look at a company like Federal Express. “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” This slogan has differentiated its business. If you need it there fast, call FedEx.
How about Domino’s Pizza?
Here’s a company whose guarantee was delivering your pizza in thirty minutes or less—or the pizza is free. Their business is created around the infrastructure and the systems to deliver a product.
“The pizza delivery experts” are not trying to sell you a high-quality pizza. They’re trying to sell you a quickly delivered pizza. It’s not that the product is not important. It’s how fast it’s delivered that is the selling point.
Another way to differentiate yourself is by offering the hottest and newest products and services. Products like the iPhone and the iPad certainly are not competing on price or selection. They are examples of how Apple is always trying to churn out the hottest and newest product. We see this as extraordinary, new and fresh. Many musical artists project this same image.
Madonna, especially, has done a fantastic job of reinventing herself throughout her career. From virgin to dominatrix, to country and western singer, to Zen Buddhist, to disco queen—the list goes on and on. The only thing predictable about Madonna is her unpredictability. And that’s her brand. That’s what her customers want.
4. Ask for Feedback
One way to discover what sets you apart from the competition and find your business niche is to ask your customers why they picked you.
- What do they see as your strengths?
- Which of your qualities are most important to them
in your work together?
- What is most valuable to them in your work
Furthermore, you could also do an online questionnaire that measures character strengths, such as the one developed by Dr Seligman, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center.
Simply pick your top three strengths and then use bridge statements to communicate how your strengths benefit your customer.
For example, in my case, I’m always exploring and discovering new tools (my strength) that can help clients increase their sales (the benefit to the customer)
6 Sales Differentiation Strategies to Improve Competitive Advantage
- Identify Unique Selling Propositions (USPs): help differentiate your brand or product by communicating a clear and compelling reason why customers should choose you over competitors.
- Develop a Strong Brand Identity: A strong brand identity helps to build trust with potential customers. When customers see a consistent and professional-looking brand identity across all touchpoints, it communicates that your brand is reliable, credible, and trustworthy.
- Offer Exceptional Customer Service: to build strong customer loyalty. When customers feel valued and appreciated, they’re more likely to return to your brand for future purchases and may also recommend it to others.
- Leverage Technology: Adopting new technologies can improve the customer experience, making it easier and more convenient for customers to interact with a brand. This can include features such as chatbots, self-service portals, and personalized recommendations.
- Develop a Strong Online Presence: to increase a company or brand’s visibility to potential customers. This can include having a website, social media profiles, and other online channels that allow customers to find and interact and engage with the brand.
- Provide Customisation Options: Customization options allow customers to select the specific features or components they need, which can help them solve their problems more effectively. This can create a positive customer experience and build loyalty. This can include customized packaging, personalized recommendations, or tailored pricing options.
Final Word: Find your Niche to Win More Deals
Your task today is to discover your point of differentiation. Ask your customers why they picked you and what they see as your strengths. This will help you focus on communicating what’s truly important to your prospects.
Ultimately, positioning is all the decisions, activities and communication strategies directed toward trying to create and maintain your intended product concept in the customer’s mind.
When customers think of your business, what exactly are they thinking? If they’re not feeling anything, you are in big trouble. If they’re thinking something other than what you want them to be thinking, you’ve got some work to do. When working out how to stand apart from the competition -it all comes down to positioning.
Gain Confidence Today; Win More Deals Tomorrow
Let’s face it. Many other people are doing the same thing as you and competing for the same business. It can be tough to stand apart from the competition, so why not take advantage of our differentiation dominance training program?
In this differentiation training, we help you do all of this in a way that’s important to your buyer because at the end of the day if your differentiator doesn’t matter to your prospects, you’ll still be left to compete on price.
Start learning how to position yourself, your company and your offering as the ideal solution to your customer.