05 Nov 3 ways to stand out from your competitors
I was meeting a new client recently, and part of what we discussed was around creating their business identity.
Now don’t be put off – I’m quite vocal in that I think lots of rubbish is spoken by many a person when it comes to ‘business identity’ – and I’m particularly averse to the phrase ‘raising brand awareness’ when it comes to small businesses.
I’ve seen too many business owners get caught up their own backsides in building up brand awareness that they’ve forgotten it’s all about making sales.
Seriously – do you really care that everyone’s heard of your business if you’re not making any sales? You’re not running Coca-Cola for goodness sake!
Get a grip and focus on your sales.
But, having said that, you still need to have a clear sense of your business’ identity and create its ‘voice’ – it’s about how you distinguish your business from your competitors and stand out, with the aim of connecting with your ideal customers and, ultimately, doing business with them.
Here’s 3 quick tips you can use now to develop your own business’ identity:
1. Don’t be a copycat – the worst thing you can do to stand out, is to copy what your competitors are doing. Instead, research your competitors and look for where you disagree with something they are saying, or something you don’t like. These are the areas to bring out in your identity.
2. Avoid the blah, blah, blah – there are some words that are so over used we don’t even notice them, or words used to describe a business that we expect as the norm. A good tip for this is to not use words that someone else can’t use the opposite of. For example, how often do you see the word ‘professional’ used to describe a business? Would you ever work with a business that described itself as’unprofessional’? No! Be creative and use words that make you stand out, not blend in.
3. Ask your customers – it’s often easier for others to see what makes us different, so go and ask some other people. Ask your customers and colleagues to describe your business in 3 words. This should give you a clear sense of how others perceive you.
But above all, don’t get caught up in the corporate BS about raising brand awareness, when what it actually comes down to is this – connecting with the people you want to do business with, and giving them a reason to do business with you.
Oh, and this also means some people won’t want to do business with you, and, assuming you’re connecting with the people you want to, then this is okay.