In the US alone, around 627,000 new businesses open each year across a range of industries. And that figure is expected to grow in 2021. Virtually every startup is met with intense competition from the outset, especially if you are working in a nascent but potentially high-growth industry. To succeed, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
The elusive ideal is to begin with an idea that is entirely unique, to follow a blue ocean strategy. You need to make sure that your products and services cannot be bought anywhere else – as this gives you an edge over your competitors and can help you draw in new customers rapidly.
For example, ScenarioArchitecuture, a residential architects company, stands out from the crowd due to their unique take on architectural builds and restorations. This is because they work based on their client’s visions, as opposed to their own ideas.
When it comes to marketing, you must ensure you can articulate and rely on what makes you different from other companies. This is known as your USP or unique selling point, and it should feature heavily in your advertisements, product descriptions, and website.
Failure to differentiate makes you blend in with every other company that sell similar products, reducing your earning potential significantly.
Of course, you need more than a USP in order to be able to stand out; you need to make your product and brand marketing compelling. The digital age has made it easier and less costly to reach a large audience. You have the potential to connect to clients across the globe in just a few clicks.
However, it is essential that you connect with them effectively. Obviously, you can’t just set up a website and wait for the traffic to flow in; you need to use multiple channels to connect with your customers and lead them to your site.
For example, you need to know how to optimize your website in a way that will increase web traffic and expand your brand’s online presence. You need to support this with an active social media presence, press coverage, partnerships, email marketing, online advertising (if your budget permits), and event marketing.
Another vital way you can stand out from the crowd as a business owner is by communicating clearly and effectively with your clients. Respond to questions (and complaints) promptly, respectfully, and clearly.
When companies fail to build a dialogue with potential customers, they limit their success significantly. Customers and prospect don’t feel as though they are connecting with a real person. When customers feel like they know the person behind the business, they are more likely to trust the company and therefore make a sale.
Building authentic relationships is arguably the best way to stand out from the crowd—while enhancing loyalty and brand advocacy.