What sets your business apart from your competition? What benefits do customers receive when they do business with you? What is the value that your business can create for your customer? How does the customer perceive their experience when they come into contact with your business? Many business owners fail to answer these questions and as a result price often becomes the only differentiator for their customers.
Your definition of your point of difference needs to be simple and it needs to be something that connects with your target market. Understanding your customers and the market is vital to adding business value. Make sure the product or service that gives you a point of difference is actually something that people will value.
Standing out from the crowd is essential to your business success. To do this you need to be able to clearly state how your business differs from that of your competitors in a specific, positive way. This could be due to one or a variety of reasons including:
- Customer service
In order to gain a competitive advantage from points of difference, there must be benefits that your consumers strongly, uniquely and positively associate with your business, rather than any competing product.
What makes you special?
When you can clarify your points of difference, market this and make sure potential and new customers know what makes you special. By doing so, you will be answering the crucial question potential customers always ask: “Why should I buy from you?” This forms your brand positioning as it is how you want your customers to favorably perceive your brand and/or business in relation to your competitors. Make sure to mention it everywhere:
- Tag line
- Product packaging
- Social media profiles
- Email signature
Make your customers feel special
Sustaining a competitive advantage is a critical part of business success. The key to building a sustainable point of difference is to understand that ultimately the key priority is the customer experience. Everywhere you come into contact with a customer is an opportunity to improve their perception of your business. For example, the degree you provide helpful information to assist customers do research, your promotional material, the look, feel and functionality of your website, how you engage with customers, how long it takes you to answer the phone or return calls are all chances to show the customer that they matter and you care. Treat them as individuals and show them that you care consistently.
If you want your customers to keep buying your products or services, you need to give them a reason in the first place. And if you want them to buy from you again, or even better, refer others, then you need to exceed your customer’s expectations.