A big part of running a successful company is finding what makes you in demand. What can help you hit the market and become a part of your customer’s lives. Without that focus, it’s easy to fall in a rut. In doing so, you will often find that you come up against competition. Then it becomes about what sets you apart from the other companies. About finding what’s unique and worthwhile about you. In this guide, we’re going to look at how and why you should use this. As well as the different aspects you can use.
First, you might want to know what the benefits of sticking out so much are. The most obvious one is from a marketing standpoint. People need to know why they should go to you over your competition. A unique selling proposition is the best way to communicate that. But it also helps you and your team, as well. Having a unifying aspect to help you drive and make those big choices that affect not just your products but the culture of the company as well.
How to use it
The way that you really use those unique aspects of your company is by creating a brand. A brand is a lot more than a logo and an accompanying visual design. It’s a short-hand for you communicate your values and identity to the customer. It’s the art of finding a voice and using it in your marketing, content and all aspects of communication to the public. A strong brand can be recognizable in an instant. Just look at Coca-Cola for the star example of that. One of the most important parts of determining that brand is determining who you’re talking to.
Knowing your audience
It is crucial that you better understand the market that you’re going to talk to. In broad strokes, you can gauge the qualities that matter, as well as how to communicate, by knowing your audience. Identifying your target audience means relying on the data of past customers as well as looking at what your competition is doing. Then it means finding the right channels to communicate with them. Figuring out which online channels are the best way to find them and how to catch their attention. Then you need to decide what the qualities you want to emphasize to them are.
Another important part of finding those unique aspects of your brand is sticking to them. There’s nothing that can be worse for a marketing plan that inconsistency. If you go off-message, it can make it harder for your customers to understand the communication entirely. Of course, sometimes, you find that you’ve made a mistake in your plan. In those cases, it can actually be better to shut down the plan altogether and have a relaunch. Consistency is important, but if your plan is failing, it can better to know when to give it up and try again later.
Nowadays, people are becoming more concerned with making the widespread ethical choices in life. This goes as far as the companies that they’ll support as well. In a lot of cases, this means supporting companies that use sustainable methods of production and service delivery. For example, read Hampton Creek’s story. Once facing opposition to their production of egg-free mayo, they were later at the forefront of a growing trend in the industry. Nowadays, a company that is ethically sound is becoming more and more of an attraction for the consumer.
Quality matters in every business, of course. No-one wants to knowingly buy something that is poor quality. However, identifying what’s unique about your company isn’t just about what people want in your products. It’s about making them a part of your narrative. For example, people are willing to pay more for a brand that they associate with a high quality product. The best way to ensure that your production methods end in quality is by demonstrating your product. You can also administer skill tests to your employees. By creating a team of skilled workers, people can recognize that focus on production values.
Being ethical isn’t just about how you treat your products and the resources you use to make them either. People also want to know that they can trust a business. Trust is an incredibly important resource in selling to consumers. If you break it once, you can no longer rely on it as a part of your brand. Demonstrate that trustworthiness by taking care of your customers. One way to do this is in how you use their data. A lot of companies collect customer data for all kinds of legitimate reasons. If you are upfront and disclose that you will, under no circumstances, share those details, customers are more likely to share them with you.
If you’re competing with larger businesses, it’s often the case that you won’t be able to beat them in price. You might not be able to beat them in production value. However, you may be able to beat them in terms of delivering their goods. Normally, the larger a company is, the more unwieldy their own delivery process becomes. Incorporating a quality delivery service. This way, you can prove your company more reliable and expedient than your competition. This means investing in that service, but it can be a small price to pay for that kind of reputation.
Another way you can compete with larger companies is by focusing on being available for customer service at all times. It might seem difficult for a small business to be able to meet the needs of all their customers. However, there are plenty of tools that help you with that. Tools like developing an in-depth FAQ page or using an on-site chat feature to answer questions that visitors have. Friendliness is a valuable tool for a business, so make it a priority in your customer service.
The personal touch
Going beyond that, you can demonstrate more than just good service to your customers. You can even give your business a personal touch. One of the easiest ways of doing that is by following the footsteps of some companies and including a hand-signed thank you card with your product. Or following up your customers with an email afterwards. Even if it’s just to ask if they’re satisfied with their product. People like having their opinion heard. Being the one to ask for it can build not only a good image, but a lasting relationship with customers.
The next step up from building a relationship with your customers is building a community with them. Online marketing has made it easier to form these communities than ever through forums and social media. It means more than just sending messages out. It means getting involved with them. Curating content as well as creating it. Talking to your consumers and getting their opinion on a wider basis. Even giving them something to do by hosting competitions and giveaways. Having your customers on your side is a great quality in terms of building a brand. People like to feel like they belong to something.
Much like quality, every customer wants to believe that the people they pay have a certain expertise about what it is that they’re selling. You essentially need it to be successful. But having it and demonstrating it are two different things. One of the best ways that a brand can demonstrate that expertise is by showing it at length and in detail. Content marketing is an effective way of getting people to visit your site and learn about your services. It can also be a method to display that expertise in the form of informative, engaging content.
Along with that expertise, you want to be able to display that you have a passion for what you do. That you’re in it for more than profit, but because you also love the industry or craft. It’s a lot easier to do this as a smaller business or if you’re building a name as an entrepreneur. You can also do it by shifting the focus to your team. By having the spotlight on them, on their role and their own passion. People always want to see the human side of the business as well as the professional.
People also want to see innovation. Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean having to discover entirely unknown things. It also means pushing the boundaries in your own way. Reiterating on your products and services to deliver better things each time. Mobile hardware device producers have been following this model for years now. Even if you’re not selling a product, it’s easy to make innovation a core aspect of your company. You can do this by even setting key performance indicators and making public the improvements you make year on year. If people see that you’re always improving, they’re likely to trust you more as a brand.
Hopefully, this article helps you find those unique aspects of your company. From that moment forward, it’s about making sure that message is loud and clear.