There are few truly innovative and unique products available today. Even those that were once completely unique tend to face some stiff competition after a short period of time. Plenty of businesses have started under the assumption that they were the only one providing a particular product or service, only to find out that was not the case.
That doesn’t mean that your business is doomed for failure though. The trick is in learning to stand out, rather than relying on your product remaining the only one of its kind.
John Boitnott recently shared some tips for standing out in a crowded market in an Inc.com post. Most of the tips revolved around adding a more human side to your business. He wrote:
“Businesses tend to forget that customers are human beings — and human beings like to buy from other human beings, not faceless companies. In the face of social media automation strategies and big data, the human factor tends to disappear sometimes. You need to be as human as possible, which means focusing on authenticity, trust, and passion.”
To do those things, he offered a few more specific suggestions. First, consider posting some behind the scenes type photos or videos of your team at work on social media platforms. In addition, interact with customers on a personal level on social media — don’t just plaster your links everywhere or offer canned responses. And on your website, create a fun about page that shows a bit about your actual team members, including some fun facts.
Dorie Clark, author of “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It,” also thinks that injecting some personality can take a brand to the next level. In an interview with Terry Brock for The Business Journals, she suggested developing a strong voice via a blog, podcast or video channel. She also said that having others promote you could be an effective method, if you can build enough brand loyalty among your biggest fans to do so.
But showing some personality is just one way of differentiating yourself from the competition. Depending on the type of business you run, there could be other options. You just have to do something that no one else in your industry is doing, even if it’s a little thing. Larry Myler wrote for Forbes:
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“Because of the existing competition, you will still need to find a way of injecting something new, such as improved function, superior value, higher quality, or enhanced service if you expect to compete well.”
Bottom line: No matter what your product or service or what market you are selling to, don’t count on being the only option around. Make sure your product or service has something that differentiates it from all the rest. Always add something extra into what you offer that no one else can duplicate.
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