If you’ve ever read Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgone, you know that a sure way to win in business is to find an underserviced niche and capitalise on that. Easy right? Not so much.
Jacqueline Raw, Owner and Founder of Ycagel, a marketing consultancy argues that the majority of businesses offer similar products and services to everyone else playing in their market. So how then do you stand out? How do we effectively position ourselves against a plethora of competitors?
Strategy 1: Start with you ‘why’
In the words of leadership guru, Simon Sinek, Jacqui believes that you need to “Start with your WHY.”
“Understanding your ‘why’ in business means that you’re able to position against other players in a way that is truly unique to you. It’s a difficult process, trying to articulate effectively why it is that you do BUT once you to crack it, you’re never really competing against anyone anymore. Your businesses ‘why’ becomes your USP and your competitive advantage,” she explains.
So how do you discover your ‘Why’? Jacqui offers the following tips:
Understand the problem you're trying to solve: Start off by trying to understand the problem you’re trying to solve in the market and why it’s so important to you.
Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing: And then ask yourself the same question again and again and again and again! Soon, your fundamental ‘why’ will start to surface. Make sure that you can sum up your why in two sentences or less – work hard at it. The clearer you are about your why, the easier it will be for the market to understand it.
Strategy 2: Sprinkle added value into your offering
According to Jacqui, the second and equally important strategy in differentiating, is creating an offering around your product or service. “This is magic-sauce stuff right here. If you’re selling a generic product, ask yourself what value-added services you can build into your product to create an irresistible offer.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s consider someone selling health shakes for instance. A shake is a shake is a shake… They might have slight nuances but fundamentally, they’re all the same. The art behind creating an offer here is to really understand what it is your clients are actually after when buying a health shake. Are they looking to lose weight (number one reason by the way) – then create a free eBook on key weight loss strategies, a weight loss tracker or free monthly progress consultations that you can offer as a value-add with each purchase. Now, instead of selling just a health shake, you’re selling a package – one you could charge more for if you position it correctly.
“Your why will get you in the door, your offer will close the deal – then it’s up to you to delight with exceptional customer experience to keep your clients coming back for more.
Never compete on equal grounds, always drive your why and focus on building an exceptional offer around your product or service, it’s what the really big players know and do as a given – and it works!” Jacqui concludes.