As a business owner, it’s scary to think that business failure rates are at an all-time high in the past couple of years. According to the latest statistics, only 50 percent of businesses reach five years, with one-third making it past the 10-year mark.
While there are many reasons and possibilities why businesses fail, often the one that tops the list is lack of differentiation.
While we’re on the topic, 58 percent of consumers are not brand loyal. Because of that, you are constantly in competition with other businesses in your industry. That’s why in today’s hyper-competitive market, being unique and standing out is as important as ever.
While it may seem like a relatively understandable concept, far too many businesses are not putting it into practice.
If your business lacks some personality and you don’t know how to change that, you’re in the right place. Here are five concepts that you can use to help make your business unique and stand out from the competition:
1.) Provide Exceptional Service
Plenty of businesses claim that their service is what makes them different. But as the old saying goes, “talk is cheap.” So, if you want to talk the talk, you need to be able to walk the walk. You have to deliver exceptional service that – you can guarantee – your customers can’t get elsewhere.
In today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, losing customers over poor service is unacceptable. Nowadays, customers are now smarter and have more options than they have before. So, if you want to keep your business afloat, you need to give them all the right reasons to stay. It all starts with exceptional service.
Respond to inquiries and concerns as soon as possible, acknowledge criticism and comments, don’t make promises you can’t keep, and offer perks and unique benefits that they can get when they acquire your services.
It’s all about coming up with a way to offer extraordinary services that go beyond what the competition is doing.
2.) Address Customer Pain Points
This one may sound like marketing 101, but you’ll be surprised at how many businesses do not mention it. If you want to attract and win customers over, the best way to do that is to provide a solution that will alleviate their pain.
For example, let’s say you’re running a dental clinic. The number one pain point that you need to address is the perception of people who think that going to the dentist is scary and uncomfortable. The smell, the lights, and the sound and feel of drills don’t make for a pleasant experience. That’s why your main challenge is to make people think a different way about going to your dental clinic.
You can go for a spa-like atmosphere. People feel good and relaxed when they’re in the spa center. By combining both concepts, you’re fulfilling your role as a dental clinic while easing the burden that your patients would feel whenever they step into your establishment.
You can offer customers refreshments while getting a massage while they wait for their appointment. While they’re getting treated, you can provide them with noise-canceling headphones so they won’t have to hear disturbing dental tools. That way, once they enter your office, they will feel as comfortable as ever.
There are a ton of ways you can address your customers’ pain points. The first thing you need to do is determine what that is and work your way from there.
3.) Do Business Differently
This one is a simple concept that’s quite challenging to execute. Being unique is harder than doing what others are doing. For the latter, you can simply scout at what they are doing and replicate it. But if you want to stand out and gain an influx of customers, you need to change this approach.
Instead of copying what others are doing, you should look for ways to do it differently. Scouting is still essential, but not to imitate what others are already doing. Instead, you should use that information to do business differently than what they are doing.
Let’s say you’re running a property management firm. If you scout out your competitors, you’ll know that most property management firms have an in-house maintenance team for making repairs on properties. While this sounds like a great idea, there are also problems with this type of approach.
For one, the work is often mediocre, not warrantied, and clients are overcharged for the work in most cases. Since property management companies earn money on repairs, they are incentivized to get the job done quickly and cheaply. Second, the payment options are limited, customers are having a hard time choosing their preferred method of payment.
You already know that it’s a problematic approach, so don’t do it. Instead, you can partner with third-party contractors. That way, your clients will be able to choose their own contractors. The same goes to your payment options, you should automate your business billing so your customers will also have options on their payment method.
Here are some of the best financial software you can use to automate your billing:
The bottom line of this tip is to always look for ways on how you can innovate from contractors to billing, as long as your customers are happy. Remember that just because you’re doing something different doesn’t mean you’re the more attractive one. It should be unique, effective, and beneficial all at the same time.
4.) Branding That Stands Out
If you want to stand out, you also need to find ways to improve your branding. Again, it all comes back to doing business differently. You also need to have a different approach with your branding.
The first impressions of a brand are formed within the first ten seconds of a customer finding out about it. That’s why you must get your branding right. Recognition requires you to stand out from your competitors. Just look at Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. Their brand logo is a graphic representation of a pecten shell. What does that have to do with oil and gasoline? Nothing. But that’s the point. It separates their brand from the others and make them unique.
Another critical factor in branding is color. Sticking with a consistent branding color and font will help improve brand recognition. Think of Coca Cola’s vibrant red or McDonald’s bright yellow arches.
90 percent of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. That’s why brand recognition matters a lot. So, don’t skimp on this one.
5.) Build a Strong Online Presence
In today’s internet-driven world, consumers rely on the digital space for all of their inquiries, including finding the right business. In fact, 97 percent of consumers find local businesses online first.
That’s quite different from the traditional way where we just stroll around town or ask people for the best recommendations. Everything can now be done online with a tap of their fingers or a click of a button.
Because of this, building a solid online presence is absolutely crucial to business success. There are many resources on how you can improve your online presence, so we’ll keep this one brief.
Just remember that if you have a weak online presence, you are losing the business battle. Here’s a list of the main areas where your brand needs to focus on building a strong online presence:
- Local SEO – local search engine optimization; involves improving the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s organic or unpaid search results.
- VEO – voice engine optimization, or voice-based search engine optimization. The process of optimizing content to give it the best chance of becoming the primary response in voice searches.
- Local Business Listings – involves online portfolios containing information about you and your business.
- Social Media Marketing – the use of various social media platforms to promote a company’s products or services.
- Content Creation – the creation of a written or graphic representation of information to digital media; intended for a specific audience in specific contexts.
If you haven’t tapped into the realms of online marketing, all of these terms may sound like jargon to you. That’s why we highly suggest that you spend more time establishing or improving your online presence so that you can reach as many customers as you can.
In addition, once you’ve established a solid online presence, you can also make use of all the tips. This time, it’s more convenient for both you and your customers.
Being unique and standing out from your competitors is not an easy feat. It involves patience, perseverance, and a lot of hard work. Just remember that it’s less about what your competitors are doing and more about understanding your target audience and appealing to their needs. Use this as a guide to establishing a solid business strategy.
Ossian Rey Muscad is a Digital Marketing Consultant in ReliaBills that helps businesses get paid on time. Loves milk and small chat.