|Can you pick out the more expensive bird?|
Attend any major business conference and chances are you will find competitors to your business. Observing show rooms or speaking with other entrepreneurs helps one learn about how other businesses market their offerings. The exhibit designs attract prospective clients or customers by their lighting, placement, artistry, free stuff, attractive sales people, and more. The companies hosting each exhibit intentionally desire that their offerings standout to the crowds.
As an attendee, exhibits catch your eye and savvy entrepreneurs will also be looking for network contacts as well as any competition. People wear name badges with a company affiliation and sometimes a title. A person working for a certain company or having a managerial title walks by and you spring into action. Your goal is meeting this person in hopes of developing an important contact for your business. It is also important to speak to those you already know in order to maintain your network and avoid offending someone by ignoring them. Yes, something made these people standout to you!
Diversity is important in business for many reasons. Products and offerings that are identical to others may sell, but differentiation and promotion of the product is more complex. Developing unique product offerings with advantages over the competition improve chances of greater sales. Even recognizing this fact, many startups tend to go down the path of having a business that is very similar to another business in the sector. When entrepreneurs fail to explore how to differentiate their business from the others, they may end up with a much lower revenue model than anticipated. It is possible to develop a successful look-alike business, but creating an improved business model or product increases the chances for the success.
Why look the same as everyone else? Your business is something you create and should have your imprint and designs. You have the ability to make superior offerings by directing your company along that path. At least consider the differentiation of the business and products before spending your time building the business. The following areas are worth your consideration as you proceed with your company development.
1. Strive for uniqueness: Identify those areas that make your offerings standout and be unique; a superior design, improved performance, and superior service are just a few. If you are lucky, you may be the first product in the area and no competition exists. Knowing why you are special allows you to develop better promotion that drives customers to use your products.
2. Customer preference: Customers have many other products to choose from if your product is in a competitive space. It is important to identify those factors that will encourage the customer to purchase your offering. Sometimes, products are a use once and customers do not return. This requires continually attracting new customers because return visits are limited. It also helpful to have a greater delineation between your offering and that of the competition. Knowing customer preferences allow for your development team to design offerings that fit the preferences, are more attractive, and easier to promote.
3. Attract repeat business: People eventually replace most items they purchase. This factor is important to the sales cycle. Their experience with your offering will influence their return to replace a product in the future. Identifying the key factors that will encourage return visits will help your future sales. You may also gain word of mouth advertising if they love your product enough.
4. Premium price: Premium products can be premium priced. The sales will be greater and your earnings may be greater if you have great margins. The willingness to pay more goes along with the customer believing the greater value exists and the product is worth more.
Taffy Williams is the author of: Think Agile: How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon