The number of fatal mistake brands and businesses make is that they try to compete on equal grounds. That’s just insane.
If you’ve ever read Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgone, you know that a sure way to win in business is to find an under-serviced niche and capitalize on that. Easy right? Not so much. Usually, those of us who are in business offer similar products and services to everyone else playing in our market.
So how then do we stand out? How do we effectively position ourselves against a plethora of competitors?
In the words of leadership guru, Simon Sinek – ‘you start with WHY’
Understanding your WHY in business means that you’re able to position against other players in a way that is truly unique to you. It’s a difficult process, trying to articulate effectively why it is that you do what you do and once you’re able to crack it, you’re never really competing against anyone anymore. Your businesses’ why becomes your USP and your competitive advantage.
Fist start off by trying to understand the problem you’re trying to solve in the market and why it’s so important to you. For me, my why is that I want to see people free from dependence on one income. Having been retrenched twice in corporate, I know first-hand what it’s like to be left disillusioned and in trouble. Growing businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals is personal for me, and that’s why my clients and new businesses request my services, they understand my why and because of that, know that I take rowing their brands, businesses and revenue very personally.
You’ll need to spend some time with your why. Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and then ask the same question again at least five times. Soon, your fundamental why will start to surface. Make sure that you can sum up your why in two sentences or less – work hard at it. The clearer you are about your why, the easier it will be for the market to understand it.
The second and equally important strategy in differentiating is creating an offering around your product or service. This is magic sauce stuff right here. If you’re selling a generic product, ask yourself what value-added services you can build into your product to create an irresistible offer.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s consider someone selling health shakes for instance. A shake is a shake is a shake… They might have slight nuances but fundamentally, they’re all the same. The art behind creating an offer here is to really understand what it is your clients are actually after when buying a health shake. Are they looking to lose weight (number one reason by the way) – then create a free eBook on key weight loss strategies, an excel weight loss tracker and free monthly progress consultations that you can offer as a value add with each purchase. Now, instead of selling just a health shake, you’re selling a package – one you could charge more for if you position it correctly.
Your why will get you in the door, your offer will close the deal – then it’s up to you to delight with exceptional customer experience to keep your clients coming back for more.
Never compete on equal grounds, always drive your why and focus on building an exceptional offer around your product or service, it’s what the really big players know and do as a given – and it works!