Differentiate Yourself

In order to differentiate yourself from your competitors and make your service/products highly visible in a vast sea of offerings, you must define your UVP (Unique Value Proposition).

A value proposition is your promise to your customers. It explains why they should buy from you. It clarifies how you are different (unique) from all the rest. It makes you singularly important.

Unique Value Proposition

When it is well-thought-out and well-written, it does the following:

  • Clarifies how your service/product will solve their problem(s).
  • Explains the specific benefits your service/product offers
  • Differentiates you from your competitors

Once you have it – post it everywhere. The value proposition must be seen immediately by visitors when they land on your home page or any other point-of-entry to your site. They must not only see it and read it; they must be able to easily understand it.

All successful companies have found ways to separate themselves from the pack – their competitors.  Regardless of the business you are in, your customers have many choices. The markets are saturated. If you do not stand out, you will not be their first choice.

Regardless of the market – its size, its popularity, the number of competitors, the saturation – there are ways to differentiate your business and enjoy success

In N Out Burger
In N Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger set their company apart by “Giving customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and providing them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”

Very little has changed from when they started in 1948 with one drive-thru hamburger place in Baldwin Park, CA until today with over 300 locations throughout the U.S.

They continue to serve a basic menu of hamburgers, fries, and drinks. Everything is still made fresh to order. There are no microwaves or freezers. Customers can watch French fries being made from hand-diced, fresh, whole potatoes. And the shakes are made from real ice cream.

Domino's PizzaIn 1973 Domino’s Pizza made a smart decision to differentiate their business with the promise of delivery in 30 minutes, or your pizza was free. Located in Ypsilanti, MI, they were appealing to the University of Michigan students and had tons of competition; but, their UVP worked.  In ten years they went from three to 1000 stores.

They also kept their menu simple – large or small pizza with a choice of 11 toppings and the only drink they offered in the beginning was Coke!

Many things have changed. The 30-minute guarantee is gone, and the menu is much broader; but, they are still one of the BIG pizza companies even though they are no longer the “hot topic” they were back in the 70s and 80s.

Starbucks Cup
Starbucks Coffee

To the other extreme, Starbucks chose to differentiate their company by offering gourmet coffee – different from all the other coffee places, which offered plain old coffee.

They chose to offer expensive, high-quality, custom-roasted coffee, coupled with outstanding service in an intimate setting. Because of that UVP, they were able to charge far more than any other coffee place around and get it without complaint. The rest is history!

Lesson Learned – Differentiate Yourself

Do your research. Take the time to understand your competitors, their products and the market you want to attract. Find out how you can be different and become widely known because of the difference.

Know your competition

  • What are they offering?
  • What is working well for them?
  • What are they not offering?
  • What demographics do their marketing efforts appeal to?
  • Which potentially lucrative demographics are they ignoring?
  • Find the gaps and fill them.

Study the Products Being Offered

  • What are the benefits and features of products that will be your competition?
  • To which market(s) do the benefits and features appeal – and why?
  • Based on the information you collect, if you were to limit your product in order to reach a narrower market, which of those features and benefits would you be able to eliminate?

Don’t be afraid to narrow your market by being different. The difference is what will make you stand out from the crowd. A smaller market of raving, dedicated fans has much greater earning potential than a large market of ho-hum, occasional buyers.

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