The fact of the matter is, in some areas, the market is simply oversaturated. In certain spaces, trying to differentiate your products and services so that your brand stands out can be really difficult.
Whether by lowering your prices, boosting the quality of your products, or making the buying experience simple and convenient, you have to find ways to establish your brand as superior to the competition within the same space.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider these five strategies to help differentiate your business in a crowded market:
Know Your Competition
All those search results you came up with aren’t necessarily cause for concern for your business. As a matter of fact, you can put those results to good use by clicking on the top hits to see what you’re up against. After all, they are your competition.
Examine their features, price points, and return policies. Pay attention to their branding and messaging. Try to locate info on their suppliers as well as their purchasing strategies. Browse through their social media pages, paying special attention to one-star and five-star reviews.
Anything consumers dislike about your competitors is an opportunity for you to do more successfully. Something at which your competitors excel should be a foundational area of focus in regard to your products or services.
Find Your Niche
Within any market, there are an endless number of niches. Some landscaping companies specialize in lawn care. Within lawn care, some providers concentrate on either residential or commercial services.
In an oversaturated space, it may seem as though every niche has already been spoken for. If that’s the case, don’t try to directly compete with others; rather, create your own niche.
If your product or service has already been launched, you may be forced to pivot. Before committing to redevelopment, do some research.
Is the niche you’ve chosen large enough to support your company? What are consumers’ specific areas of concern?
Before jumping in headfirst, make sure you’re capable of addressing these pain points profitably.
Streamline Your Channel
How do you distribute your products? In certain markets, complicated supply chains cause products to pass through half a dozen hands before making it to the end user.
Cutting out some of the intermediaries will not only help you price your products more cost-effectively, but it will also allow you to create tighter feedback loops with your customers. Perform a comprehensive supply chain audit to identify any steps you could eliminate from the chain.
Develop Your Street (or Online) Cred
In a crowded market, credibility is key. Consumers frankly don’t want to bother with researching a thousand different brands, so they pick the one they know and trust.
Establishing a trustworthy brand is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep tabs on your social media pages to see what customers are saying about your products and services. Read every rating and review you receive. Be mindful of what customers like and dislike about your products, customer service, and delivery.
Don’t respond in anger when you encounter negative reviews. Instead, strive to make changes that speak to those concerns and emphasize your best features. Being quick to react will cultivate consumer trust and translate into positive buzz around your brand.
Don’t Simply Make Sales – Build Relationships
There’s another good reason why branding takes time. It’s because building rewarding relationships with customers doesn’t happen immediately.
Making genuine connections with customers is akin to cooking an authentic dish: The proper ingredients – exemplary customer service, a dynamite product, and a pinch of personalization, to name a few – must be blended properly and simmered steadily.
Regardless of the density of your market, it’s no easy task to differentiate your business from your competitors. If you want to inspire loyalty from old customers and sway new ones to choose you, you’ll have to do your homework.