How to Make your Business Stand Out In A Crowded Market
As a business owner, you know that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to stand out from the competition. And while you can’t wave a magic wand for success, there are things you can do to make your business more enticing to customers. Some of our recommendations may be something you already know, but it’s essential to frequently audit what you could do to make your business stand out.
Create a strong brand identity.
Your brand should be instantly recognizable and communicate what your company represents. When you create your brand, you want to be your authentic self; customers will be more attracted to a company that stays true to itself. You can work with marketing agencies to help you define your brand or use this opportunity to engage your staff with a fun branding exercise.
Stand behind your values.
When you are refreshing your brand, create company values. These are typically internal commitments but could also be shared with your customers. This is your opportunity to share your “why” and inspire customers to do business with you. Customers want to feel a personal connection to a company and believe in its values. Keeping true to your brand and values can also help with talent attraction and retention.
Offer unique products or services.
When you started your business, you’ve likely already researched your competition and assessed their strengths and weaknesses. It’s good to keep a running audit on your competition and companies that inspire you. If you can find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition, you’ll be more likely to attract customers. Consider what makes you different and make your company the business of choice for that market. For example, we at Coastal know we’re different from our competitors because we’re “un-bankey.”
Create a great customer experience.
With each interaction, you’ll want to deliver excellent service and exceed your customers’ expectations. This is more than having an efficient sale or sales experience; use this to connect with your customers. The more you connect, listen, and learn from your customers’ experiences, good or not so good, you’ll be able to anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations. By doing this, your customers turn into advocates for your business and increase your word-of-mouth marketing – for free!
Stay up-to-date with technology and trends.
Your business may not need all the tech bells and whistles, but if you have out-of-date systems, it may create a frustrating experience for the customer and your staff. Having an updated website with a seamless user experience adds to a positive customer experience. Additionally, trends are constantly changing! The more current your business is, the more your customers will look to you for products and your expertise.
Be seen where your customers are looking.
Learn who your customer is and where they do their research or shopping, and make sure you have a presence there. For example, if you have a retail shop and your target customer is predominately finding products on social media, have a visual presence on those channels. We have a blog that can help if you need social media tips!
Get involved in your community.
It can be beneficial to be involved with local events or charities or collaborate with other businesses. Not only will this help you with word-of-mouth marketing, but it may help with your employee and customer engagement. Your employees will likely feel proud to work for a company that gives back, and your customers may want to support you more. We recently sat down with our Community Engagement Manager, Colleen Temple, to discuss this in more detail.
Innovate and experiment.
This is important because you won’t know if a new approach works until you try it! You’ll find successes and things to avoid through trial and error. An example would be to “Niche-ify” your business. This means you would heavily market your product to a specific targeted demographic market. For example, if you own a beauty shop that sells all-natural products – makeup, hair products, skincare – you can target consumers who use those products through your marketing.
Celebrate your successes!
Tell your customers when your business does something good or wins an award! They will likely start looking to you as an expert because of this. Don’t forget to make any customer testimonials or reviews available on your website – more free word-of-mouth marketing! And most importantly, tell your employees and customers “thank you” – it goes a long way! You can easily share your wins and celebrate your employees on social media. Recently, we celebrated our 25th anniversary and had a company-wide spirit week that we posted on our social media channels.
Standing out from your competition is essential in running a successful business. Applying these principles may take time and effort, but it will be worth it to increase sales and grow your business.