Consumers are bombarded with marketing noise every day, from Facebook, to emails to pop up ads. It is more important than ever to be heard above the noise. Every business needs to promote and communicate what makes them stand out from the rest. If you don’t develop an effective differentiation, getting customers to pay attention to you will be difficult. Being able to clearly communicate why customers should buy from you will ensure you don’t get lost. So how do you do this?
Understand your customers
You need to understand what your customer wants. What is important to them? Are they looking for a product to save them time? Do they need expert advice? Ask current customers what it was about your business that made them use you. Find out what your customers like and dislike and what forms of media they engage with. Often people like a company that is local to them or one that is small, offering them a more personalised service. You will never appeal to everybody so understand your core market. Work out what resonates with them and focus on this.
Know your industry
To position your business, you need to understand the industry as a whole. What are the current trends within your industry? What are your competitors doing and how well are they doing it? A more successful competitor may not be better than you at delivering a service. Focus on what you are good at in comparison to your competitors. Maybe their customer service is poor and you have an excellent reputation in this area. Highlight this to any potential customers.
Focus on how you benefit your customers
Promoting your business should not just be listing everything you do. You need to think about how you actively benefit your customers with your products and services. Educate your potential customers about how you can help them, clearly identifying how your product is a solution to a customer problem. Your products may be the same as a competitor but are your guarantees more comprehensive? Do you offer any extras as part of your service that no one else does?
Make it personal
If you are running a small business, who you are can be what makes the difference from the rest. What drives you can inspire others. Your personality, your skills, experience and knowledge are already unique. You have something that no one else has, so focus on this to make you stand out.
You will probably find that you already know your USP. It is just a matter of clearly communicating it with your potential customers.