Direct competition can be a real doozy. If you’re selling something that’s almost identical to your competitor, you have a hard road ahead unless you find a point of difference and do it well. But you can also make simple changes to stand out from the crowd – in this week’s Bartercard blog we list 5 of them.
1. More value and ease
The largest consumer demographic, millennials, place value and convenience ahead of price so see where you can simplify and pack more into every transaction. Consider free and same day shipping with no or little minimum spend. Set up a virtual online assistant to answer customer enquiries on the spot. Minimise questions, returns and exchanges through accurate, detailed descriptions and a simple, mobile-friendly website. Implement a rewards program, launch seasonal campaigns and plan out targeted social media to stay in front of your market in peak spending. A flexible exchange policy is essential to online sales and gives customers the confidence to spend. There’s no shortage of ways to bolster value and convenience in a few simple steps.
2. Market your point of difference
What do you do differently? Consider your customers’ pain points, your point of difference in the solution and ensure you market in the right places. Are your materials all-natural, do they leave a smaller environmental impact, do they last longer, are they customisable, sourced locally and is the transaction creating a positive impact elsewhere? Honesty and integrity speak to customers so ensure everything you communicate is conducive to your brand.
3. Make your brand magnetic
Brand recognition is crucial so consistency is key. Consider the messages, voice and personality you attach to your brand which is deeper than colours and style. Does your brand have a wider agenda in the community? If so, talk about it. Turn your customers into ambassadors to take your brand reach further through user-generated content. .
4. Expand and scale up in new markets
When you have the basics like branding, marketing and e-commerce in place, scaling up to expand your distribution then honing down in local markets might be the next step. Customers consider the location when purchasing, and local will not only reach them sooner but instills more trust into the transaction. Localised marketing also makes more impact locally. Approach retailers in different areas to see if they’re willing to carry you, and promote your stockists to customers. Make it easy to contact you – include a mobile and email instead of just an online form.
5. Innovate and Expand
Think about accessories to complement your products like different designs, variations or colors that allow them to feel a little more personalised. Never stop thinking about taking things one step further. In the world of business, a ‘go big or go home’ attitude usually trumps all else. You can offer both the same products as your competitors and more products than your competitors, as well as more variety among that same core product. Bring your products into the future.
6. Invest in a strong team
A business is only as successful the team marketing and selling it. Their product knowledge and customer service should be exceptional, but the most successful teams come out of strong leadership in a positive work environment. While perks and incentives definitely assist (which you can source without the cash cost through Bartercard), make your workplace supportive and flexible. Invest in development and ensure your team are brand ambassadors.
Consider the steps you can take to outshine your competition. It doesn’t always have to be groundbreaking or expensive – attention to the smallest details counts.
About the author:
Elizabeth Lee is an avid blogger and content expert supporting PACK & SEND. She is very interested in all unique and unorthodox ways that small and medium businesses can use to reach new customers. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter.