|It’s no secret that it’s vitally important to stand out and be distinctive in today’s competitive marketplace.
As the heart of your business, your differentiation drives your messaging, marketing and offerings. Having that clarity is the key to creating desire for what you do or offer.
This is also something that confuses and frustrates even seasoned entrepreneurs.
On one hand, maybe you’ve tried to niche down…to focus on a specific group of people with a particular problem. But that doesn’t always work for every business. On the other hand, if you stay too broad or general your message doesn’t cut through the noise in the market.
But you don’t need to stay frustrated. There are six different ways you can stand out and get known in today’s crowded marketplace. The key is to clarify exactly what YOUR point of differentiation is and to claim that space clearly in your messaging, marketing and more.
So let’s look at the 6 different approaches to differentiation and see which is right for you:
Differentiating based on WHO you serve is a great way to go if you work with customers that have (or believes they have) a unique and specific set of needs. If there is a specific audience that you excel at serving be clear and claim that in your messaging. For example, my colleague and client Lara Galloway of Mom Biz Coach clearly speaks to Mompreneurs, helping them build a business that fits their family life. Is your mission to serve a particular group of people?
Perhaps your business exists to address or solve a particular problem that your customers have. If that’s the case, you can position yourself around the unique stand you take in helping them solve their problem. Weight Watchers works with anyone who wants to lose weight. Uber stepped in to solve a transportation problem that they saw in the market. Many businesses successfully differentiate around their unique approach to addressing common problems. Does your business solve a problem particularly well?
You can also differentiate by showing that you help your audience achieve a specific goal or desire. This goes beyond a problem focus and speaks to an outcome that your audience desires. For example, my client Sherry Essig helps professional women make their next bold move in life and work. I’ve seen dating coaches who help their clients find their soul mates. Are you taking a stand for a result your clients can achieve?
Another approach to differentiate your business is around your unique philosophy or approach. If your business is about spreading a message, or is built on teaching a specific set of principles, you can stand apart on this message. Consider the success of Brene Brown and her book Daring Greatly. Another great example is my client, Kathy Kawalec (https://cognitivedogtraining.com/) who offers a holistic and partnership based dog academy. Her holistic partnership based philosophy is key to her differentiation. What is the core philosophy that drives what you do? Is it important enough to make it the centerpiece in your positioning?
You can also differentiate your business around your proprietary process. If you’ve developed a process that works well to achieve a particular outcome, people need to know that. Consider for example Byron Katie of The Work or Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. My client Kris Baird of the Baird Group has developed the Baird method for helping hospitals improve patient care. These businesses have differentiated around a unique process they’ve developed that gets results for their clients. There are many businesses that stand out because of their proprietary approach. Does your business have an innovative take on getting results?
Maybe you’ve got a particular product that has distinct advantages that people want. You’ll want to spread the word about the advantages of your product and get known to those who are looking for that difference. For example, PayPal is a product that makes it easier to get paid online. Many direct marketing companies differentiate based on their unique product. As do technology companies. Does your business have a unique product that could get you known?
The key to success here is clearly claiming your most valuable and distinctive value. Don’t try to cover all six of these points of differentiation. It’ll dilute the power of your message if you try to be all things to all people. Decide which one or two of these options really drive your differentiation. And use them to create a powerful message that speaks to your ideal customers. When you’re clear on exactly what makes your business unique, it supports you in achieving your big marketing and sales goals.
**An invitation to discover your distinctiveness**
If you’ve been working to grow your business for a while and still struggle to distinguish what makes you and your work unique, then I’d like to help you create a major breakthrough in this area. This is one of the things I love to do with clients.
I’ve opened up spots in my calendar over the next week to help 10 entrepreneurs discover and claim their distinctive positioning. If you’re ready to finally nail what makes you distinctive, you can request a complimentary 30 minute breakthrough session here. Simply fill out the brief questionnaire and book a time for us to talk in the next week.