The market is filled with Me-too products and services, you hardly find newly invented products or services, No diversity or uniqueness the name of the business is the only uniqueness of the brand. Everybody wants to own a business without studying the underlying factors that make a business succeed. What they do is quite simple, They pick a niche, study the big players in that industry, and copy them to the brink. I’m not saying it is bad to copy your competitors, we all do that anyway, but there should be some form of uniqueness that will better position you from the big players, and that’s what you will learn here.
Understanding your competitors is a key component of your online strategy, enabling you to uniquely position your business in the marketplace. In this post, we’ll explore:
What you will learn
• How to identify what makes a business stand out in a busy marketplace
• Why Unique Selling Points (USPs) are important and how to construct them
• Online tools available to help you research the competition.
It is a fact that “Healthy competition keeps us on our toes and increases our drive for success” but the biggest disadvantage of startups is their lack of resources which undermines their chance to compete with the big players in the industry. The size of a venture is always smaller than that of a corporation. A startup cannot compete directly with a big company at the early stage of product launch, because it does not have the wherewithal to do so. Big companies may have all the resources and employees to do what they want and diversify when they see other companies threatening their reign with newly invented solutions, However, startups do have something else (a competitive advantage): Uniqueness.
Read Also: 6 Major Reasons Why Yahoo failed woefully.
Uniqueness is what makes your product or service different from everyone else. This is pretty simple. If they have similar products as yours, why should they use yours instead? That’s where uniqueness comes in handy.
Diversification on the other hand means having multiple businesses under one roof. This allows for more variety in the products and services offered by a business. The disadvantage of being a jack of all trades is that people will struggle to perceive the brand since it has too much in its portfolio. They don’t know what it stands for.
Over the years We have seen big companies like Nokia and Kodak lose their high valuation and bequeath their leading Position to competitors because they failed to follow the market trend.
Read also: Kodak failure and lessons to be learned
Let’s start with this question:
What makes you stand out?
Imagine you own a basketball gear shop. What would make your brand distinct compared to other sports shops selling basketball equipment?
Maybe your shop’s exterior is painted in bright red, or you have an eye-catching window display, or perhaps you’ve even hired someone to shoot some hoops outside to grab people’s attention as they walk by.
As a physical store, you need to stand out. The same is true in digital. When we identify what makes us different from the competition online, we call that our Unique Selling Point, or USP.
A Unique Selling Point is a clear statement that describes the benefits you offer, how you might solve your customer’s needs, and what distinguishes you from the competition.
4 key questions to ask yourself when defining your USP are:
- Who is my target audience?
- Who are my competitors?
- What problems does my target audience have? and
- How can I solve them?
Once you ask these questions, you can piece together a concise statement that incorporates the answers.
Few pointers to remember when defining your USP
- Speak in a human voice. Be as natural and relatable as you can and remember, you are trying to attract people, not robots.
- Shout about it. Your USP should be displayed on your website, social media, and other marketing materials. A good USP won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s ok. Build a USP that is tailored and speaks directly to your target audience.
- Be honest with yourself. Know your capacity and plan according to it
- Don’t over promise and underdeliver. Know what you can offer and what you cannot
Other things to consider while working on your USP are your strengths and weaknesses. To do this, use a SWOT analysis, which will help ensure business decisions are well informed. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
- What is it we’re good at? These are your strengths
- What can we do better? These are your weaknesses
- How can we grow, change and improve? These are your opportunities
- What is happening or could happen, both internally and externally, that might affect us negatively? Those are the threats.
While constructing your USP, it’s a good idea to check what the competition is up to. When starting a competitor analysis, make sure to utilize the free tools available online. Start with search engines, which can offer the most immediate answers.
Simply search for your key terms and make note of:
- Who appears in the top results on search engines for your product or service
- Which keywords appear on their website, that is, what words are they using in the page titles on their website, and
- What message do they use on their social media?
Another way to stay up to date with what competitors are doing is by signing up for alert systems. Free tools like Google Alerts show you who is talking about certain topics online, so they help you keep your finger on the pulse. Try setting up alerts for key products or services, as well as your own business and competitor names. You’ll then receive notifications when the terms you enter are discussed online, and be able to see how your business or the business you work for compares.
Uniqueness is the competitive advantage startup have over big companies
Studying the big players in the industry and taking advantage of their weaknesses is one of the advantages startups have over Big companies.
So what have you learned so far?
What makes you different online? Use the tips from this post to find out what your competition is doing, and use a SWOT analysis to identify what makes you stand out.
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