All businesses need a point of difference otherwise you are just about price
We all need a point of difference from competitors otherwise your prospects and customers will just look at your offering on the basis of price… are you cheaper than Fred Bloggs & Co.
The supermarkets have this problem constantly, having to compare prices and offering price deals to entice shoppers. Margin inevitably suffers. Contrast their situation to that of the online TV channels, eg Skye, Amazon, Netflix, etc. These businesses have unique content whether it be sports coverage or drama; so, customer’s choice is based upon what sort of unique content appeals most to them.
Be different not necessarily better
The good news is that a business doesn’t need to be better than competitors, because that is probably unachievable for many, especially if that superiority is to be sufficiently significant for potential customers to see it.
Instead, businesses need to be different. This difference needs to be about an important aspect of your product or service, an aspect that is regarded as such by your target market customer.
This difference becomes a key benefit of what customers would get from buying from you. A benefit your competitors don’t offer.
What problem are you solving?
A good place to start to work out what the difference needs to be is using the 5 Point Online Business Plan where you determine what problem you are solving for your target customer.
There is a blog post giving the details of this plan here: 5 POINT ONLINE BUSINESS PLAN.
The first element of this is defining your business’s purpose. This is the problem you are solving, with your product or service, for a defined group of prospects – this group might be consumers or businesses.
Clarity of purpose is crucial. The elucidation of the problem for your target customer follows. And, then you solve the problem by offering something different from the competition.
Clearly, if you can define the problem you are solving for your potential customer but you have no point of difference from the competition, your first task in developing you business strategy is to create a point of difference. This is the key challenge your business faces in order to prosper over the medium to long term.
With your point of difference defined it is central to your marketing communication, across your: website, email and social media.