Stand Out From The Crowd
No matter what business you are running, you are going to be facing competition. As you can see from the fish in this video, they are waiting to be fed in the lake and they are trying to attract the attention of the person with the food.
Which fish will get the food ? Will it be an almighty scramble with the food thrown in the middle for the fish to scramble over ? Or will the person feeding see the orange Koi and see it as different and more likely to feed it ?
Does Your Business Stand Out ?
As a business, what makes you stand out from your competition ? Are you one of the grey Koi not getting noticed in the video ? Or is your business more like the orange Koi and standing out ?
What Is Your USP ?
All businesses should look at themselves and decide what differentiates them from the rest of the crowded market. In marketing this is called your USP ( Unique Selling Proposition ) and all businesses will have one. If you do not have one, what reason would customers have to choose you over your competition other than price? If you are just competing on price, you are on a race to the bottom as a bigger fish will eventually come along and muscle you out of the way.
How Do You Discover Your USP ?
To find out your USP you need to both look inwardly at what you are good at and where you can add value to your customers that your competitors cannot. You may have a policy of solving customers queries within 4 hours or provide free training with certain packages you sell. You may specialise in a specific industry or consumer group that you sell to.
As well as looking inwardly, look outwards. Do you know why your customers use you ? Often they will consistently choose you over your competition because of something you do or are good at that your rivals are not. Running customer surveys are a good way of finding out what customers think of you and why they choose you. Surveys are also a great way of finding out what customers want from their suppliers. It may be that the price is not important to them but they want all goods delivered at a certain time. You may be already doing this or nearly there. If you are, highlight this as a USP to the market or make those minor improvements in your operation to make it happen.
Highlighting Your USP
Once you have your USP, make use of this in your marketing material and through your social media channels. Let the market know why you are different to the competition and make this a reason to choose you. The more you do this, the more it will become reinforced in the marketplace who you are and why customers need to choose you over your competition.
Having A USP Means More Profit
Once you have your USP and it is something the market likes, you are not competing on price and customers want your product or service. This means that they are not going to be comparing you with the cheap alternatives, you offer more. You will probably still be doing what you did before but you are now in a position to charge more and this will flow straight to your bottom line.