A business can do everything right, but if they look just like all of their competitors, no one notices them. The biggest key to standing out from the crowd is differentiation. Figure out what is unique about your business and use it to your advantage. Start by staking your claim on a simple idea or position that your company stands for and build from there. From writing blog posts to crafting marketing campaigns, you will find that things come together in a whole new way when you have this solid core. To get you started, here are 7 ways to make your business stand out from the crowd.

Develop a cohesive brand

Having a solid logo is a great start, but a brand is much more than a few well-designed graphics. In order to have a cohesive brand, you must consider every aspect of it from the logo to the business cards to the website layout1. Select colors and an aesthetic that fit your business and develop graphics, or hire someone to design graphics that follow these guidelines. A brand should serve as a constant reminder to potential and existing customers that you are different and better than your competitors.2 Let it communicate the elements of your business that are unique.

Carve out a niche

Is there an under-served area in your industry? Is there a need for a product or a service that no one is providing? Look for an opportunity to carve out your own niche in an industry to become a dominant player.3 When people start to recognize your business for its specialty products or services, you will not only have a unique following but you may be able to justify raising your prices because you are offering something that isn’t available anywhere else.

Develop a unique value proposition

Being different isn’t enough to develop a loyal following. Customers need to believe that they are getting value from the qualities that differentiate you from the other industry competitors.4 A value proposition can be anything from offering better prices to having superior products or services to simply providing more bang for the buck. Don’t ever underestimate the power of freebies, either.

Maximize your strengths

Learn the strengths of your business and build upon them. In turn, make an effort to work on your weaknesses as well. You should always strive to improve your weaknesses with the goal of eventually eliminating them altogether.5

Position yourself as an expert

Even if you have the best quality products at the lowest prices around, customers aren’t going to come back if they can’t count on you as a reputable expert in your industry. Learn everything that there is to know about your industry inside and out and don’t be shy about sharing this knowledge.6 Genuine credibility builds customer trust, which, in turn, brings in referrals for your business.

Maintain stellar customer service

Everyone has stories about the best and worst customer service that they have received. The extreme situations are the ones that tend to stick with you. You want to be remembered for having the best service, not the worst. One of the best ways to kick off great customer service right from the start is to deliver with the very first customer contact. For example, give them a related service for free or a small relevant gift (i.e., a sample of a new perfume with the purchase of a signature collection perfume).

Be social

In this day and age, most businesses are expected to have some type of social media presence. Social media is a great asset for a business and it allows customers to keep up with you.7 The downside of a digital age where anyone and everyone has Facebook and Twitter accounts is that it’s harder than ever to make your presence known. Figure out which social media platforms are most relevant for your company and use them to your advantage. For example, Pinterest and Instagram may be a great fit for a fashion industry company, but not for an insurance company.

Find your voice and use it to interact with your followers. Some companies opt to adapt a relaxed tone while other companies find that maintaining a formal tone is better for their businesses and customers. Encourage your customers to share their feedback, questions, and comments. Consider offering incentives for completing surveys or answering questions, such as coupons and small freebies.

Most important with social media is to create original content and post it on a regular basis. Customers appreciate employee-generated photos, videos, and blog posts. When you do share relevant customer and industry content, make sure that you give credit where credit is due.


Author bio:

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm, and also serves on its Board of Directors. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.

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Originally posted 2015-07-14 09:29:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter