What makes your business stand out from the crowd? Why do your customers choose your business over your competitors? Finding out the answers to these questions lets you market your business more effectively and attract new customers.
You can identify your point of difference by inviting customer feedback and commissioning a survey of consumers in your target market.
Invite feedback from past and current customers – either online or face-to-face. Ask them the following questions: Thinking back to the first time you bought something from our business, what caused you to do so? If a customer gives a vague answer like “a product I wanted,” probe to find out exactly what it was about the product that attracted them. Was it packaged well, of excellent quality, or priced competitively?
What do we do that others don’t? This question will help you find out your business’s unique selling points.
What do we do better than similar businesses? This question will allow you to find out what makes your business special in the eyes of consumers.
Your target market is simply a profile of customers that are most receptive to your offering. As an example, your target market could be female, aged 40-55 with a high-level of expendable income. Although your customers will provide you with interesting information, you could obtain more valuable information if you conducted a survey of people in your target market who currently buy from your competitors. There are several low-cost online solutions you can use to conduct surveys via email. You will just need to make sure you have a database of email addresses to work from. Surveys will reveal the exact needs of your potential customers and help you to develop new products or services that meet those needs, further differentiating your business from its competitors and helping you win new customers. Analyze the results
Better than your competitors in the view of your customers
Note how many customers commented on each individual element. Look for emotional, as well as rational, elements in your customers’ responses. Marketing your point of difference
Since customers already identify your business by its name, only change it if it’s having a detrimental effect on communicating your point of difference. Branding
Look at your current branding. Consider if your brand name, color scheme, font, graphics, and overall design communicate your business’s point of difference. If not, either change the branding or redesign it completely. For example, you may realize that the bright colors in your logo need to be replaced with more muted colors to reflect the relaxing atmosphere in your dental clinic.
A marketing tag line encapsulates your business’s distinctiveness in one short phrase or slogan. It should explain the main benefit of your business for people in your target market, and encourage potential customers to find out more. For example, ‘helping managers find high-level jobs’ is a better tag line than ‘an employment agency for managers.’ Although the latter tag line explains what the business does, it doesn’t inspire potential clients to sign up. Brochures, a website and other marketing materials
Once you have new branding and a tag line, ensure they’re included in your brochures, website, social media postings, business cards and all other marketing materials. If you manufacture products, update your packaging. When updating each of your marketing materials, see if the text could be rewritten in a way that your point of difference is emphasized and communicated better. If necessary, enlist the help of a professional marketing copywriter.
Once your new branding is in place and your marketing materials have been updated, it’s time to start communicating your point of difference to prospective customers.
Organizing and hosting an event is a great way of communicating your point of difference to the local community. Whether it’s a:
Re-launch party to publicize your business’s new identity.
Fashion show to showcase your new winter collection.
Book signing by a local author.
Invite as many people possible and ask each person to bring along their friends. Ask the local newspaper to come along so that your event, and your business,
obtains some publicity. Display your new branding prominently and hand out your new brochures.
Get involved in a local event
From charity fundraisers to Christmas markets, getting involved in a local event will enable your business to communicate its point of difference to a wider audience than just its current customers. Prospective customers may be surprised by your business’s change of image and encouraged to find out more. Hold a competition or giveaway
Another way of drawing attention to your business’s new image is by holding a competition or giveaway. Publicize it widely in both online and offline locations. Include your new branding and a link to your business’s website on the entry form. Once you’ve discovered your business’s point of difference, start building a brand and communicating its unique identity in as many different ways as possible. Try to create a buzz about your business and reach as many potential new customers as you can.