In the 16th century, Prince William led the Dutch in their rebellion against Spain, then the largest and most powerful empire in the world. Facing a massive army bearing down on his tiny country, Prince William made a bold move: he pulled down several barriers and flooded a large section of the Dutch countryside. The Spanish troops were held up, and the Dutch stood firm and won the war.
Today’s brand leaders must be willing to recognize when they can’t beat their competitors using their current strategy. If a larger competitor is beating you on price, you have to find a way to differentiate your brand even if it involves a radical change in strategy.
So, how do you do that? Here are five simple, yet effective ways to differentiate your brand and beat the competition.
1) Identify and solve your customers' pain points
One obvious way to beat the competition is to address your target audience's needs better than your competitors can. Ask open-ended questions to determine precisely what your customers want while using your products or services, including:
- What is your company's primary obstacle to growth?
- What is your biggest personal obstacle?
- What matters the most to company executives?
- Which tasks dominate most of your time?
- What are your complaints?
- What could account for any recent business or customer losses?
Once you clearly understand the issue, the next step is to determine who can solve those pain points and who has the authorization to purchase your products and services.
2) Use storytelling and specialization to find a niche in the market
Competing in a crowded market requires a unique value proposition. The more unique it is, the less room you leave for competition.
Brand storytelling is an excellent way to build your niche by crafting stories around your products and services. Using stories, you can become entrenched in your prospect's lifestyle and not remain a detached entity.
Specialization fosters a scalable and successful business:
- A niche market is more loyal
- The prospects are easier to target
- The customer retention rate is better
- Specialization can also involve gradually scaling back products and services that no longer fit into your niche
3) Establish competitive pricing
One of the simplest ways to beat your competition is to offer more affordable pricing — research which competitors offer the best value. Once you've established that, you're in a better place to set your prices.
Keep in mind, however, that the best pricing strategy isn't always lowering prices. Because the market is segmented by lower, middle, and upper-tiered customers, you need to determine your audience's segment and decide if what you are offering brings more value to the table and should be priced higher.
4) Change your business model to stay ahead
When running a business, the only constant is change. Improve on an existing model, whether it's your current business model or a more prevalent one in your industry. Former marketplace giants like Nokia and BlackBerry were eliminated from the smartphone industry because of a lack of innovation.
Remember, your competitors are always innovating, and new entrants are disrupting the marketplace. Your business should continually innovate and in a way that the competition finds difficult to imitate.
5) Provide an outstanding customer experience
Providing exceptional and memorable customer experiences is an ideal way to build loyalty among your customers and differentiate yourself from the competition. Prioritize hiring employees who fully understand not just your products and services, but your brand as a whole.
Your customer care team should always remain courteous and respectful. They must always be responsive to customer queries. They should have a problem-solving approach and always ask for customer feedback. Customer-centric brands are powered by dependable staff who raise the level of customer delight.
When assessing which of these ways to beat your competition is best, define your brand, set a unique value proposition, and stay ahead of your competition in terms of quality, price, and customer service.
Furthermore, talk with your customers so that you can retain them for life – you can't figure out how to beat your competition if your customers are abandoning you. Yes, you need new customers, but beating your competition begins with those who already know – and trust – your brand.
Our team of experienced brand consultants can help you develop the optimal strategies to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. We understand every business is different and will work with you to find the optimal solution for your organization.