Written by Doreen Dilger, The Home Based Business Coach
Studying your competition is necessary for many reasons; one of those is to enable your products and/or services to be different from theirs. If you don’t know for sure what they are offering then you won’t be able to be very different. Product differentiation is an essential component in being competitive today.
1. Identify Gaps in Products or Services – Line up your products with theirs to make gaps in either their offerings or yours apparent. Fill the gaps, improve the similarities, and you’ll differentiate your products in a clear way.
2. Deliver More and Better Quality – Try out your competition’s products and services; see what you think about them. Figure out how you can make yours better than theirs. If you can also add more information, more features, better design and so forth to your products and services, that is a great way to differentiate your products from theirs.
3. Create Different or Easier Delivery Methods – Is anything clunky or off about how your competition delivers their products or services? That is a great place to differentiate yourself and your business.
4. Provide Free or Low-Cost Companion Products – Offer a “how to” manual or product guide with purchase. Offer a low-cost or free app along with the product purchase. Alternatively, offer something only customers get from you, such as a forum or special phone number for customer service.
5. Get Famous Endorsements – Fame is in the eye of the beholder, so find movers and shakers within your niche and ask them to try your product for free in exchange for an endorsement. Be sure you are ready for the truth before doing this.
6. Make Your Cover/Website/Product Design More Special – They say not to judge a book by its cover but the truth is, everyone does. Make your covers super special by hiring professionals to design exceptional graphics for you.
7. Donate a Portion of Proceeds to a Charity – People love feeling as if they are doing a good thing when they buy something they already want. This can be risky if you choose the wrong charity, though. You can be general with the notice or you can choose a number of charities to let your customer pick.
8. Offer Exceptional Customer Service – Boost your customer service up a notch over your competitors' and you will win over more people than you think. People talk about bad customer service more than good, but since your customers travel in the same circles, if one complains, the other will recommend you.
9. Create Better Calls to Action – Many businesses fail, not due to bad products, or poor packaging, or even due to high prices but rather from not asking for the sale. Be sure your CTAs are more effective than your competition’s.
To differentiate your products and/or services from your competitors' it will require that you try out and study your competition so that you know what needs to be done to make your business stand out.
About the Author: Doreen Dilger is a Certified Manifest Method Coach, Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of Women Empowering Women Now.