For most products and services that a customer could want, there are numerous brands competing for the customer’s attention. As a business owner, this can be a scary fact. When your offering is very close to a competitor’s – or multiple competitors – it can feel as if your potential sales are a mere whim of your target market.
But remember: you are wearing the marketing hat for your business. Just as much as you have an opportunity to tell your audience about the thing you are selling, you have the opportunity to give them something to differentiate your business from all the rest.
“Okay, great,” you say. “So what is that for my business?”
This is where you can be creative. The marketing term here is Point of Differentiation, but the real objective is for you isn’t to be simply different from the other options on the market. Your objective is to show your audience something that allows them to develop a bond with your business.
People can establish a bond whenever they see something relatable. For example:
- Tone – You project funny, and they like funny.
- Values – You believe in building community, and they believe that community is important.
- Cause – You support protecting the environment, and they like your environmentally-friendly packaging.
- People – Connect your business with people who are familiar to them. It could be a celebrity if you are prepared to have a big marketing spend. Or, it could be a person of a size, shape, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, family structure, etc.) that they relate to.
- Location – If you self-identify with a particular place, the people who are proud to self-identify with the same place will take notice.
- Experiences – Telling stories gives the customer all kinds of touch points. Whether about you, the business, the genesis of the offering, how you got started, a day-in-the-life, or any other story, you are creating a variety of consecutive opportunities for a customer to relate to something.
- Customer Profiles – Even if they know little about your business, showing them existing customers just like them will help them see that you can serve them too.
- Fallibility – We love outtakes. It’s not that we are sadists who want to see people fail all the time. It’s that we know we are not perfect, and so it is easier to identify with others in moments of imperfection. There are many ways to show that you are human and that your business is made up of humans. Telling your audience that you know from experience what not to do could be the moment they start to get comfortable with you.
As you think about what sets your business apart, look at all the ways that someone could start to bond with you on a deeper level. Once you know what your strengths are in that area, you can start finding all the ways to inject that throughout your branding, your voice, your content. Let this be your ice breaker so that your audience can start to build a connection and become your customers.