The relationship that your business has with its competitors might be a bit more malleable and multi-faceted than you initially assume it to be. You want to stand above them in the eyes of your shared audience and be the optimal choice among you, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t serve some sort of greater purpose that can benefit you in some way – and vice versa.
You can use each other for inspiration, as a testing ground for your ideas, and the ways that customers interact with one can inform the way they do with the other – you’re a part of the same landscape. With that in mind, the question of how to stand out from them – how to appear distinct – becomes more complicated.
The most obvious answer here, and the one that common wisdom might guide you towards, is that having a unique selling point (USP) can give you the best chance of remaining unique among a sea of businesses offering the customer a very similar thing. This is a perfectly valid approach to take, and if done right, could be something that you begin to build your entire brand around – successfully creating an image that your customer finds easily recognizable from your associated marketing.
This might take some trial and error. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all, but knowing what you’re striving for, and developing a unique identity could help your business to develop a charm and appeal of its own in the eyes of your audience. The hurdle to be aware of, though, is making the goal of a USP so singular regarding your ambitions, that you forget or neglect aspects of your business that follow convention. That’s not to say that you have to do everything by the book, but the conventional method doesn’t necessarily have to be avoided for the sole purpose of doing something different, and doing so could lead you away from stronger decisions.
Being the Best
Some of that conventional wisdom might simply relate to making the product or service you provide the best that it can be. Quality is something that customers will always be drawn towards, and while this is something that they usually dictate through word of mouth or user reviews, it can be an image that is perpetuated by the business itself once such a reputation has been earned through the voice of the customer.
There are hurdles, here too, of course. Which business among multiple competing options is ‘the best’ is going to be a subjective answer, and there will likely be areas in which you excel more than your rivals, and they more than you. You might decide to distinctly focus on the areas that you specialize in, and cultivate that into part of your USP. However, it might also be that you don’t aim to take such a drastic, flashy approach to how you go about earning this approach, instead opting to grow it carefully, with time and hard work.
Building the skillset of your staff, and ensuring that your customer service is always as good as it can be by being open and transparent, are things that you can do to start being thought of fondly in the eyes of your audiences. It might also simply be that you ensure all of the tools that you use are as good as they can be to increase efficiency and polish, from the computing systems you operate on, to the industrial air blowers that you use as a part of your operations – it all comes together to form the cohesive whole.
Your One-of-a-Kind Dynamic
Customer service was one of the smaller pieces of the whole that were mentioned previously, and here lies another opportunity to create something unique. In an age of social media, many companies have taken the opportunity to be more playful and informal in the ways that they interact with their customers, but this isn’t always going to be an approach that suits every business. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be unique, though, and feeling a sense of pride in how you engage with your audiences is something that can come back around to benefit you.
Of course, the obvious way in which this could happen is through positive word of mouth, but it might also happen when you need to go about specifically asking for customer feedback, in which case, they might be more inclined to help you improve where you need to. Much as how your employees form a crucial pillar of how your business operates, your customers are much more than simply those who pay for your services, you can’t exist without them, and putting that awareness into your work might be something that they reflect at you when the opportunity arises.