In the first two parts of our three-part series on sizing up the competition, we took a look at how to figure out who the competition is and how to know what you’re up against. Once you’re armed with that research, you can use it to determine the best strategies to stand out from the crowd and win over customers. Below, a handful of tactics to consider.
First impressions. The first time potential new customers make contact with your business is the best opportunity for you to make a strong impression. If a potential customer has just spoken to one of your competitors and the interaction was just lukewarm, a good first impression could get you a new customer right then and there.
Make me an offer. If you’re deciding between two similar auto mechanic shops, but one washes every car that comes in for free, which one are you going to choose? If your business can highlight a unique offer in all of your marketing, you’ll soon be known for it and you’ll stand out from your competition.
Wipe your feet. Say you just moved into your new house. The carpets are clean and everything still has that new-house look. As you research cable companies to come hook up your TV, you notice that on Company X’s homepage, there’s a big photo of three of their service people. They look knowledgeable. They look friendly. They’re wearing shoe covers. If you’re having a hard time choosing between companies, chances are you’re going to choose to keep your carpets clean. As you think about your business, find something people don’t like about your industry and become known as the company who solves that problem.
Do some good. Increasingly, consumers are choosing to spend their money with companies who are good corporate citizens. What does your business do to help your employees, the community, the environment? If your business is philanthropic, make it a part of your marketing. Don’t brag about it or be disingenuous about it, however. But if you can gently let consumers know that you’re invested in making the world a better place, you’ll attract new customers. Win-win.