Differentiate your business – or risk failure

I nearly called this blog post “Differentiate your business or die”, but thought that might be a little too dramatic. There is some truth to it though! If you don’t know how to make your business stand out in a crowd then you are going to struggle to be successful in the sea of your competitors.

There, I said it.

I posted this quote on my Instagram recently, and it started some great conversations about why customers will buy from you over a competitor. Including a great conversation with my friend, Melinda, about a dog leash. More on that in a minute…

Note: This quote has been attributed to everyone from Bob Marley, to Kurt Cobain, Lady Gaga and Heath Ledger. (It is doubtful any of them actually said it).

Think about this…

  • How are you differentiating yourself from everyone else?
  • What makes you stand out in a crowd?
  • Are you just copying what everyone else is doing?
  • Or are you creating something new and unique?

These are questions I ask my clients all the time.

I work with businesses and entrepreneurs who are often working in very flooded and competitive markets. Their number one issue is always the same!

“I need more clients/customers”

Part of solving that issue is working out how to attract clients/customers to your business, and then to paying customers through the “Know, Like, Trust” process. (More on that in another post).

You probably think your product or service is amazing (and it may be!), or why would you even be in business, right?

But how is it different from a similar product or service? How will customers choose YOU over someone else?

The story of the dog leash

A dog leash is just a dog leash, right? They’re all pretty much the same. You have a clasp on one end that attaches to the dogs collar, and a loop on the other end for your hand to hold it.

But there are SO many to choose from! Different colors and styles and for those of us who spoil our pups (cough cough), finding the best one is very important.

My good friend Melinda just got a new pup – Pepper! She is an adorable terrier mix who is one lucky rescue pup!

Differentiate your business - Melinda and Pepper

Like every good puppy mum, Melinda wanted to have everything ready for her new pup, including a new leash. She did some research on Amazon and ended up choosing this leash from Amazon.

Differentiate your business dog leash

Why this particular leash?

Out of the 20,000 + leashes on Amazon, Melinda very specifically chose this one.
But why?

Here is the reason in Melinda’s own words:

@socialsonya the story for one…it really hit home with their dog passing away and traveling. Wanted to give back to rescues when they were fostering is super awesome. For every leash sold they donate one to a rescue, they donate to rescues, they offer gift cards to give to rescues. They keep their prices around the same as other brands but the quality is better. I just loved everything about them. I’m contemplating joining the collar club!

These few things are what helped the seller – Max and Neo Dog Gear – stand out in a crowded (20,000+) marketplace.

  1. They give back to the community. And donate one leash for every leash purchased to local rescues around the country (400+)
  2. They have a great company story! The company is named after the brothers dogs (Neo and Max). They fostered rescue dogs and realized it takes a lot of resources in both time and money to run a rescue. Max and Neo Dog Gear was started to help dog rescues with their never ending need for dog supplies.
  3. Quality and value for money. It is immediately apparent in the product images that their product is of decent quality. And it doesn’t cost anymore than a leash you’d buy at a petstore.

What can your business learn from this?

You may have a very similar product or service to everyone else in your industry. However, there are things that make you different!

  1. What is unique about your story? Everyone has a story, so share yours!
  2. Do support a charity or the community? This can be as easy as donating $1 for every sale to a relevant cause.
  3. What value are you offering your customers? People will buy if they think they’re getting value for their money.
  4. Is there a special feature that is different than other brands/products/solutions? Maybe it is hand made, custom developed, or made with fairy dust.

How are you standing out in the crowd?

I’d love to hear how you are differentiating your business.

Please drop a comment below and share your story!

If you’re unsure what makes your different, let me help! Reach out below.

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