It’s very rare to be lucky enough to have a business in an industry that isn’t crowded with competition.
Whether you sell something or provide a service, you have competing companies and brands who want the same business you do, and everyone is constantly seeking to secure that business.
A great way to make sure you stand out is by showcasing the ideas and values that make your brand unique.
These differentiators that dictate brand identity and value are easy to spot for many businesses. You really only have to look at what drew you into their business to identify their unique selling position that drives their brand.
A shining example is Amazon in the United States. It provides an easy interface to order through, great and often free shipping for Americans.
But what really sets Amazon apart has been its customer service. As a retailer, it is known for making ordering online extremely easy and this has carried over into its Canadian service, though not to the same degree (yet).
Its customer value proposition is its USP (Unique Selling Position).
When looking at how to stand out from the crowd and draw in customers and clients, assess what you see as the core value you provide.
It could be something as simple as longer hours or a higher quality track record. Approach the idea of establishing your brand by trying to sell what you do to yourself. If you can’t think of any reason someone would hire you over someone else, then you’ll need to do a little research.
Your business wouldn’t be a success at all if you didn’t have something unique about it.
Try mapping your customer experience. Write up what happens at each step and examine what the client is doing vs. what they’d be doing had they opted for your competitors.
Within that analysis, you are likely to identify points where you’re providing something the others aren’t. That USP is what you’ll use to differentiate your brand.
Here’s a quick example:
- Helen A. is a relationship coach. She helps single people find the right partner and advertises her success rate.
- Helen B. is also a relationship coach. She also helps single people find dates, but she also provides coaching afterward to help both parties through any struggles within the first year of their relationship.
- Helen A. would define her brand position and USP as being the relationship coach that helps you find love.
- Helen B. would define her brand position and USP as being a relationship coach that helps you find a partner and then helps cultivate the relationship afterward.
It should be relatively easy for you to identify your USP and then apply it to your brand.
FedEx is an often talked about example because its USP is overnight shipping guaranteed. Its tagline is “When it absolutely, positively, had to be there overnight.”
Work your USP into your brand identity to a point that no one will have to ask you why they should choose you.
This could also be accomplished by assessing your competition.
Look for Pain Points in your competitor’s customer experience. By reading their reviews you’ll be able to see what put past clients off and what could be preventing future clients from choosing your competitor.
If you see one star reviews and there are consistent messages that your competitor is rude to clients your USP could be your five stars track record and friendly personality. If that sounds like you then you know what to do and wear that USP like a brand badge, so everyone knows if they deal with you they won’t experience any rude behavior.
This should be a fun exercise and if you get it right you’ll see the results.
Whatever brand ideas you can come up with are worth exploring if they really embody what you provide that makes you different. Your values and your service should all be the building blocks, so your brand stands out based on what you do best.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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