As you probably noticed, we added a Company Differentiation Worksheet to our Resources page. If you already downloaded it, great! If not, go do that now. The below walks you through the 6 tell all questions for you to answer about your business. As you work through the questions, you’ll uncover what truly differentiates your company from your competitors. You can then apply that knowledge strategically, making it easier to stand out and gain more business.
Let’s get started…
First, describe your company in one sentence.
Think of this as a simplified elevator pitch. If you popped into an elevator and a stranger asked you to describe your company and you, or she, was getting off that elevator in 2 floors. You only have time for one sentence. Go!
For example: We help medium sized businesses understand and use engaging design to attract and gain customers.
Second, why do your customers spend money with you?
This can take a little digging if you don’t know right away. And even if you do think you have a good idea, I suggest you still research a little further. Take your top 5 customers and give them a call. Ask them what their top two reasons for spending money with you. By taking the time to do a little more discovery, you’ll either confirm your initial response or may uncover an even deeper reason why your customers patronize your company.
For example: We’ve saved our clients countless hair-pulling hours and many sleepless nights by demystifying savvy self promotion.
Third, how are you most different from your competitors?
Whether how you’re different from your competition is seen in a positive or negative light makes no difference. Being honest about exactly why you are different from your competition is what matters here. There is no right or wrong answer, but you must be truthful. So if your competitors are larger and you are smaller, fine. If your competitors offer a better product than you, that is ok. What is important here is to honestly list how you are most different than your competitors.
For example: We work with a small, select client roster so we can thoroughly get to know a customer’s business. Then we can customize their website, design project or promotional solution.
Fourth, can you say you are the ONLY company that does or provides something? If so, what?
Now, let’s dive deep. Is there something that ONLY your company provides? Now, if you are thinking… great customer service, the best product or something else you may want to be known for, you’ll need to back that up with actual testimonials from actual clients and facts. Many business owners try to take the easy route on this question, but I promise if you find that unique aspect about your company, you’ll have a much easier time differentiating your company from competitors. For example, are you the ONLY company in your state with a product showroom? The ONLY company with the most awards in your industry? Are you the ONLY company in your state that has sold X,XXX amount of homes? Are you the ONLY company with the highest accreditations in your field in your state? You get the point.
For example: We only provide 4 things: strategically designed websites, improved collateral, polished print and savvy social media to simplify our client’s lives.
Now, who is your closest competition (name/web address)?
This is a great question because it gives you a gauge as to the climate of your industry. Sometimes it is easy to focus only on our own business, culture and day to day interactions with clients. But by doing this we don’t look beyond the front doors as to what is happening in our industry. By keeping an eye on competitors, we can pick up on changing trends and nuances of supply and demand. Now, who are your closest two or three competitors?
For example: This could be a company that is across the street from you or perhaps in the next state over. It is more important that the competitor, or competitors, be your biggest competition, not necessarily your closest ones geographically.
And finally, what sets you apart from your competition?
Now that you’ve identified a couple of competitors, what sets you apart from them. Maybe you are smaller or larger. Maybe you carry a larger product line or even a smaller one. And don’t be discouraged if you feel like what makes you different is negative. It may not be.
For example, if you are a car company and you only carry one line of cars and your competitor across the street carries 5 types of cars, figure out a way to shine a positive light on this fact. Perhaps you carry less overhead, or you know your demographic amazingly well. Or perhaps your competitor doesn’t even have a car type that matches the one type of car you sell.
Now let’s bring this exercise full circle. Describe your company in one sentence. Remember that question from the beginning? Perhaps you need to update your statement and use what truly sets you apart from your competitors.
It’s all about looking at your company and your offerings in a new light. And when you can see what makes your company different, you can mold that into why your business is a better option to customers you are a perfect fit for. Use that knowledge to promote yourself in a distinguished way. So if you are smaller and nimbler than your competitor, or maybe you offer the only showroom in your state in your industry, or whatever it may be, advertise what differentiates your company from the competition. It is by doing this, you’ll gain more customers, more business and more success.
Have a question? Contact Damien at iKANDE today (damien@iKANDE.com).