Differentiate yourself from the competition
Friday, June 17, 2016
Recently, I had my very first experience with a ride-sharing app. All I had to do was download the app to my phone and register for services. Within minutes, the driver, who was personable and timely, arrived at my location and took me to my destination.
Now, when I say ride-sharing app, did you automatically assume Uber? Well, that's why differentiation is important between businesses.
Though my storytelling was simply an overview of my experience, that's how easy it is to group companies in the same industry together. Today, Uber, Lyft and SideCar are the top competitors in the taxi and limousine industry, which is worth $11 billion per year.
With entrepreneurship on a rise, it's more important than ever to establish a unique identity in your field. If you look and act just like your competitors, why would customers come to you? That's the question that every business leader should ask themselves.
Truthfully, there is room at the table in almost any industry for new businesses. Due to our diverse population, there's no limit to the void a company can fill, big or small. Remember these components when determining company structure. Also, take note of the successful companies who took heed to these components and became a leader in their industry.
Solve a problem
Before becoming a supplier, most business leaders were once customers who saw a need that was unfulfilled. This is where every business has the opportunity to shine.
When the concept behind a company was imagined, it was with the goal of solving a problem. Whether improving efficiency or offering personalization, a company can soon make a name for itself as a problem solver. Take the time to analyze the problem from all angles and determine the impact of a solution. Establishing a target audience is key, with the goal not to steal competitors' customers, but improve on a need.
Uber was created to offer more cost-effective and efficient transportation. The company's founders noticed the difficulty behind hailing a cab and set out to solve the issue using technology.
Pepsi is not Coca-Cola, and Burger King is not McDonald’s.
While establishing your brand, it's important to find a niche. This will help your company avoid comparison between others in the same industry. The need being filled may not be evident to all, but establish a company structure that emphasizes just that.
In recent news, Moe's surpassed Chipotle as America's favorite Mexican food chain, according to The Harris Poll. That can best be equated to the companies’ ability to personalize products. By offering customizable dishes with additional options, the brand grew tremendously.
Don't imitate, differentiate. Personalize the look behind the service or product that you're offering. The small details require attention, as these features will separate you from competitors. With today's advancing technology, certain expectations may be in place but always remain mindful of the need and audience being targeted.
While Twitter and Facebook are both social networking sites, their individual websites offer unique amenities. Twitter focuses on global conversations, while Facebook offers a database of games and an archive of memories. Each site promotes interaction in their own way.
A happy customer is a returning customer. One of the main features that can sway a patron is the customer service experience. Present a pleasant exchange that aims to fulfill customer needs and make them want to continue patronizing your establishment. A quality experience has proven to be priceless among customers.
Zappos built its shoe brand by specializing in customer service. The company allows free returns and multiple avenues for a positive customer experience through their 24-hour help line.
Differentiation is the reason there can be a limitless number of brands. Because there are millions of people with countless differing needs, this leaves an open opportunity for a strategic company to make a difference. By simply combining problem-solving skills and creativity, a company has the opportunity to place itself in a league of their own.
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