What does it mean to differentiate? If you don’t understand what it means to “differentiate your business”, this is the most simple explanation: understand what makes you different, then use those qualities to grow. Experts in the marketing industry have written award-winning books about this, like “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin and “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. In both books we begin to understand how to stand out in the field (or sea) of competition. Below are three steps to help you.
1. Ask yourself this question: “Why should someone choose me instead of a competitor?” I suggest that there should be three things that make you different. If you are having trouble, think back to why you started the business. You might also ask a loyal client why they choose you. If you gather testimonials, the differentiators may be in the text.
2. Make sure these differentiating qualities fill a need in the marketplace. If they are not filling a need, you should change your business or your audience so that the product and buyer are well suited for each other.
3. Lastly, figure out how to best communicate these differentiating qualities to your audience and be true to them. Some businesses have mottos that communicate their differences. Others have a mission statement. Regardless, your differentiators should guide your business communications and marketing – post them on the wall near your desk if you need to. But, be sure that your employees understand them and are communicating them, as well.