What makes you stand out from the crowd...?

May 8, 2017

If you want to be successful in business, you need to have some way to make your business memorable, to make you stand out from your competitors.


Having a unique selling point can also be a way of filtering your ideal customers from those who aren't and helps you to really focus everything about your business around them.


With so much choice out there customers often have a hard time deciding who to go to or where to buy from to get the best value.  Just think about some of the purchases you've made recently, especially the higher value ones, or choosing somewhere to go to eat and remember the process you went through before making a decision.  Having a unique selling point will help customers remember you, even in an already crowded marketplace. 


Sounds great, right...!?!?!  But how do you do that...?


Ok, so obviously there is no cookie cutter solution, otherwise you wouldn't be unique but there are a number of areas where you can easily put your own stamp.


Let your personality shine through


One of the things that will help you stand out from competitors is your personality.


Whether it’s intentional or not, your personality shines through every aspect of your brand.  It comes through in your style, your look, your feel and your tone.


This is one of the reasons why it’s so hard to try and replicate someone else’s success by copying their style.  It may work in the short term but soon your own personality will start to come through, causing confusion for the audience you have attracted, especially if it is at sharp contrast to the brand you were trying to emulate.


When you run your own business you can all of a sudden be catapulted into the public eye. Gone are the days when you could hide behind your work persona, while keeping the real you under tight wraps.  People buy from people so they want to get to know, like and trust you.  They want to find out whether they like you and can relate to you, and of course, they want to  know you have the right solution for them.  And in order to do this you need to let them see beyond the facade so that they can see you in your brand.


This is why it is so important to just be yourself….!


It kind of reminds me of that part in the film Legally Blonde where Elle is applying to Harvard.  Instead of submitting a traditional straight laced application, she does it in her own style, even spraying the application with perfume.  Then on her first day of law school she tries her best to 'fit in' but still manages to stick out like a sore thumb in her colourful clothes and her pink fluffy pen.  You see despite trying to become someone she thought she needed to be to fit in and win the man she wanted, she really didn't know anything other than how to be herself...


Narrow your focus to appeal only to your ideal customer


Creating a unique selling point based around attracting your ideal customer is likely to put off some people, but that's ok.  In fact, it's really the whole point.


There are various ways you can do this.  One way would be to offer a solution that would solve a specific problem for them.  For example, there are certain male dominated areas where women often feel vulnerable or worry that they could be taken advantage of because they have little knowledge of their own.  Areas such as car maintenance, plumbing and electrics, painting and decorating and getting in taxis.  A female run business in any of these areas blatantly using feminine branding to draw in their ideal customer is likely to put off male customers but that's fine as their aim is to make women feel more comfortable letting a stranger into their house or getting into a taxi, or even just feeling like they won't be ripped off, and they will stand out because they are in a minority.


Another way is to focus on shared values such as sustainability or the environment.


Put your focus in the right place


Don't waste your time trying to be the 'best'.  Being the best can be subjective as it can mean different things to different people and so lead to unfulfilled customer expectations and disappointment.


Focus on being unique.  Look for different ways to do things.  Take for example businesses like Uber, Amazon and Virgin Atlantic who really turned their industry on its head when they first came on the scene.  They didn't have a unique product or service but what they did do was find a way to do things differently.  They thought outside the box.

When Richard Branson was setting up Virgin Atlantic for example, he realised that a customers' journey doesn't begin at the airport check in desk but at home.  And this became the starting point for the design of Virgin's Business Class customer journey.  They looked at all the points throughout that journey where they could add value and make the customer feel really special and this led to them offering a home to airport limo service, curb side check-in, a fast track security channel, the ability to chose what you eat and when you eat (both in the lounge and on the plane), beauty and hair treatments in the lounge and massages on the flight and an arrivals lounge where you can freshen up before continuing with your onward journey, and much more. 


There are all sorts of other ways you can differentiate, including providing excellent service and paying attention to the little details like your packaging.


Use humour


Using humour is a great way to grab someone's attention and make you memorable.  Creating a buzz with funny adverts is one thing but those businesses who then seamlessly encorporate that humour into their brand are the ones who will really stick in your memory.


In the UK, we have a comparison website called comparethemarket.com.   They hit on the idea to create an advert which suggested that a lot of people were getting confused between them and a dating website for meerkats called comparethemeerkat.com.  But they didn't stop there...  They even went so far as to create a real website for comparethemeerkat.com, quite rightly anticipating that people would give it a test run.  Of course, it was a huge hit and Aleksandr and Sergei (the meerkats) have become a core part of their brand and can regularly be seen on tv.


Other brands which have cleverly incorporated humour in their adverts, on social media, on their packaging, etc. are Ben & Jerry's and innocent drinks.


There are also a number of brands who, while they don't use humour in their brand as such, are very good at using humour as part of their customer service strategy to great effect.



Are you struggling to find your unique selling point and need some help...?  Then book a free call with me now to find out more about the different ways I can help you - Yes, please...!




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