Posted by Greg Barlow & filed under Competitive Differentiation.

flowersYour buyers are in control, and you know it. When someone can anonymously go online and investigate everything about you, your products and your competitors before deciding whom they will contact, that is control! There’s nothing wrong with that, and it will certainly be that way for the foreseeable future, but in that environment, how do you make yourself stand out?

In reality, there are 3 main ways to differentiate yourself from your competition:

Product Capabilities

Differentiation on product capability means that you have a product that unequivocally offers features that your competitors do not. If you have a patented product that your competitors cannot match, it would be important to focus on those differences. If your competitors can describe their product features the same way, this would probably not be your best way to differentiate yourself.

Product Price

Price is an easy element on which to differentiate yourself. If you are the low price leader in your field, you can focus your website on this fact and engage visitors in comparisons and value propositions.

Customer Experience

If you cannot differentiate yourself on either product capabilities or price, then you must focus on giving your prospects and customers a uniquely positive and stress-free experience. This starts with the verbiage they see on the search engine results page and continues to your website and then through every touchpoint you have throughout the buying process.

This kind of differentiation requires a thorough understanding of the needs and wants of your buyers, and means that you have to be willing to supply these people with all of the information they need to make a decision. It also means you have to take every opportunity to make them comfortable enough to add your company to the short list of vendors they end up with when they get ready to buy.

A good place to start is with some simple usability studies that can give you tremendous insight into what your buyers are looking for online. From there you can evaluate the messaging on your website and every touchpoint downstream to see if you’re focused on the right elements. After that, it’s a matter of tracking and refining until you have it right, and the business comes pouring in.

If you need help with any of this, or just want to talk it out, give us a shout.