If you want your business to succeed, it needs to be considered unique – and your customers need to identify the distinctive advantages your business holds over its rivals. But in a crowded environment, with lots of powerful competitors, it’s hard to frame your business as uniquely advantageous.
How can you find opportunities to uniquely differentiate your business in such a contentious position?
The Power of a Unique Value Proposition
Your company’s unique value proposition (UVP) is designed to be a concise description of the value it provides your customers, defined in such a way that it becomes truly novel in the context of your competition. Formalizing this unique value is important for several reasons.
For starters, it makes it clear to your customers why they should purchase from you – and not, say, a competitor who offers very similar products and services. It also creates a foundation that you can use to produce more compelling pieces of marketing and advertising collateral.
On top of that, it can help you adapt and grow with the times; if you find yourself in an environment where your unique value is weakened, or where another company offers what you offer, you can easily recognize it and make changes so you can remain competitive well into the future.
Identifying Unique Differentiators
If you’re struggling to come up with a unique value proposition that’s truly unique, take a look at how your business operates and serves its customers. In some cases, you may have to make adjustments to your business as an intentional play to make it more unique.
These are some of the most common differentiators to recognize:
· Price. Price is important to consumers for obvious reasons. If you can offer the same products as your competitors, but offer them for lower prices, you’ll have a competitive edge. Fast food restaurants and discount supermarkets attempt to do this commonly. However, if you’re working in an industry where prices are tightly controlled or where you already have very slim profit margins, you may not have much wiggle room here.
· Quality. Conversely, you can focus on quality. Your customers may not mind paying more with your business, versus a competitor, if you can justify that price by offering higher quality goods. Many people would be willing to pay twice as much, or much more, for a product that lasts longer or carries more prestige.
· Service. You can also differentiate your business by focusing on service. Providing your customers with more information, more support, and faster resolutions to their problems makes a big difference.
· Reach. Though it’s not a good fit for every business, you can differentiate your organization by attaining a broader reach. If you can reach more people in more places, you might be able to beat your competition with availability alone. Additionally, in some industries, you may attract more customers by having a wider potential distribution footprint.
· Options/personalization. Not everyone wants to buy a totally out-of-the-box product. Some people want to have more options – and some people want their experience to be as personalized as possible. If you offer more flexible packages, more customization options, or total personalization, you’ll have an easy time differentiating yourself.
· Convenience. Think about convenience. If you can condense a typically hour-long experience into the span of 10 minutes or less, you’ll be able to save your customers a lot of time.
· Brand identity. Even if your business is functionally identical to a rival’s business, based on all the factors above, you can differentiate with your brand identity. You can appeal to different demographics with a different image, a different tone of voice, and different brand standards.
· Target demographics. And if all else fails, you can always try to avoid your competition by targeting different demographics.
Marketing Your Unique Differentiators
Once you have an idea of how your business is unique, you can focus on marketing those unique differentiators.
· Formalize and commit. Don’t just speculate about these unique differentiators. Commit to them and formalize them by making them a key part of your marketing and advertising strategy.
· Make differentiators a pillar of your messaging. The things that make you unique should be centerpieces in all your marketing and advertising materials.
· Directly compare when possible. Don’t be afraid to compare your products and services directly to those of your competitors. If you do so, stick to the facts.
· Strive for memorability. Memorable ads are effective ads. Your unique differentiators will stick in the minds of your target demographics if you find a way to make them unforgettable.
Making your business unique is half the battle. Convincing your customers that your business is unique – and valuable because of that uniqueness – is the other half. If you can accomplish this, you’ll have a competitive edge, and you should have no trouble finding commercial success as long as your industry keeps thriving.