Business competition can be intense, and if you run a small or medium-sized business, setting it apart from your competitors can be challenging.
But there are fundamental approaches you can take to create and defend your competitive position. Here are our five top tips to help your business stand out from the crowd:
1. Differentiate: What's Your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
The best way to stand head and shoulders above the rest is to offer something unique. Not only will this give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than a competitor, but it also makes it easier to promote your business.
Your USP is what makes your business and its products or services different. It's what you offer that no one else does in your market.
If you can't identify your USP, you'll have a tough time convincing prospective customers to buy from you instead of your competitors.
2. Know Your Loyal Customers and Reward Them
Understanding your customers and what motivates them is the key to satisfying them and winning their loyalty, anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations.
It's easy to take loyal customers for granted, but it’s cheaper and easier to keep existing customers than to find new ones, so give them an incentive to return. 'Buy one get one free' (BOGOF) offers, improved credit terms or loyalty schemes that encourage shoppers to collect points they can accumulate towards a purchase. There are many ways to reward loyalty with exclusive offers.
The Mention Me 2021 Advocacy Report found that 40% of customers are likely to buy again from brands that reward loyalty by offering a discount on their next order.1
3. Is Your Marketing Targeted?
Spending money on marketing your business will be wasted if it's not targeted, in other words, appealing to your intended audience. Make an effort to tell people who you are, what you sell and why they should buy from you. It doesn't have to be expensive; cost-effective promotional ideas include everything from leaflet drops to campaigns on social media.
Be consistent. Tie everything together in a sustained marketing campaign, where you consistently communicate the same key messages to your target customers. Doing this helps customers get a clearer picture of what you offer and how your products differ from other providers. Your goal is to ensure customers see your marketing and remember you when they're ready to purchase.
4. Is Your Visual Identity 'On Brand'?
Branding is more than just a logo. Establishing a brand takes careful planning, starting with researching your target audience and competitors. Your logo and branding should visually reflect the values you hold as a business. A strong and memorable logo will grab your customers' attention, make a positive first impression and separate you from your competitors.
Simple steps such as strong signage at your premises can make your business look more modern and inviting. Look at your business cards, social media presence, website, branded packaging, etc. Does your image reflect your USP?
Over time, your image can become outdated as customers change what they look for and competitors up their game. Do things feel fresh and exciting, or is your business becoming tired? Does your image still reflect how you want customers to perceive you?
5. Making the Most of Online Presence
You may have a website and social media profiles, but are you maximising their potential and making sure your content sets you apart from competitors?
Google business profile—a free service that encourages people who find you on Google Search and Maps to convert into new customers. You can personalise your profile with photos, offers, posts, and more.2
Google ads—a costs effective way to get your business in front of potential customers searching for the products or services you offer.3
Engaging content—your social media content should encourage your followers to engage with you, like and share with their friends. Tempting as it is to use these channels to drive sales, try and keep an even balance between promoting your products and sharing valuable, unique content that will interest your followers.
With these essentials covered, your business will be in a solid position to grow and outshine your competitors. Protecting your business from the day-to-day risks it faces with business insurance is essential. When you work with a broker that understands your business, you'll save time on research and have peace of mind knowing you'll have a policy tailored to your needs. Get in touch today to find out more.
Quotes from well-known and specialist insurers, including: