Before we talk about what can make your brand and products stand out in the crowd, let’s start with why they need to. According to an article by Samuel Edwards originally published on Entrepreneur.com, “…there are almost 28 million small businesses in the U.S…” And while roughly 90% of startups fail, 543,000 new businesses are launched each month. That’s a lot of competition.
Look at your industry and see how many new businesses have popped up since you started yours. Nothing is static and as industries expand, you need to make sure your brand is noticed by the people you want to attract.
There are different things that make your brand stand out, though before you start it’s important to know whom you are trying to attract. If you don’t know your audience you cannot create the differences that are important to them. First, create a list of the people you want to attract to your business. When I ask businesses the question of what type of customer they want to attract, say “Everybody.” This is not a good answer (although amusing). List the demographics of your perfect customers and then broaden your search from there.
You can look at brand differentiation from a number of angles. You may start with where you want to be in the market. Are you striving for the high-end customers, medium or everyday? Once you know where you want to be from a price standpoint that helps you, create marketing and sales programs to differentiate yourself from other similar businesses.
Another way to differentiate is through your customer service. There are companies who have become very successful by offering the best customer service and quality (Nordstrom for example). Customers will pay a higher price to receive the best customer service as part of the package.
You may also consider creating strategic alliances with businesses that are looking to attract the same clientele. A cross-industry partnership can be beneficial to both businesses in many different ways (referrals, joint events, etc.). Find other businesses in your area that would attract the people.
Keep thinking about what makes your business different and how you can make those differences count.
A tip of the glass from me to you!