Standing Out in a Crowded Market
With the digital experience connecting people from across the globe, it is harder than ever to attract guests to your venue. Competition is fierce and once optional service areas that might have given you an edge, are now expected as standard.
Being able to stand out and establish your brand as a Leader in its industry is vital for generating leads, bringing in sales and cultivating return custom.
Here are Seven Areas Your Business Needs to Evaluate and Optimize to Get in Front –
1. Identifying a Niche Market or USP
Although Industry Markets tend to be grouped by one over-arching term (such as Food & Beverage, Travel etc.), they are made up of smaller subsections that have their own unique approaches, qualities and customer expectations.
Rather than trying to appeal to every person all the time, it may be a smarter use of your time, experience and budget, to streamline your approach and address a specific section of the market.
Entering a Niche Market does require research and investigation, you need to identify who the customer is, what they want, whether it is a long-term venture or a ‘fad’. Appealing to these people directly by showing them that you know what they want and need will help your business stand out against generic companies who may offer similar services.
Developing a Unique Selling Point (USP) gives you a platform to leverage your communications and sales from. If you are offering something that no one else does, your advertising and marketing should focus on this fact. Customers can be enticed to try something new when it is presented to them in an appealing manner.
2. Clear Work Ethic and Brand Values
Customers don’t generally want to support companies who are not seen to be ethical, or who treat their workforce poorly. They want to spend their money with businesses that acknowledge their social responsibilities and attend to them.
Only 52% of people trust businesses to do what is right.
Edelman Trust Barometer
By having clear values that your customers can identify with – you can build trust and recognition with your brand, helping you stand out from your competitors.
It is important that your company develops clear strategies and values. Your company must adhere to them – they can evolve and change over time, but if your business does something that is drastically different and counter to your values, you will lose trust and your reputation risks being damaged.
3. Applying the Human Touch
It is important for your business to be professional – both in appearance and manner. But customers like to know they are engaging with people – not faceless corporations that don’t care about their expectations and opinions.
By having an engaged and interactive staff that your consumers can engage with, they will feel more like connecting with your business and supporting your ventures.
People are also more willing to forgive a company if they can empathize with them – if your business puts its self across as a large, faceless venture – then your audience won’t have a point of connection, and may feel resentful about the way you operate, which can cause a reduction in trust and reduce the brand loyalty you are trying to cultivate.
To stand out from others, you need to offer a personalized service that is tailored to your consumer’s needs – by conducting yourself in a friendly and approachable manner, this personal service feels more natural and encourages your customers to feel as if they are a part of your business, rather than a function of it.
4. Promotion and Advertising
Spending on promotion and advertising is essential – your business needs to place its self to be seen. However spending more doesn’t necessarily mean spending smart; knowing where and when to spend your money is key; for example – there is no point spending out on audience engagement on a platform which your audience don’t use, or directing your strategy towards banner ads when your target demographic largely use ad blockers and won’t see your promotion.
Take the time to research and understand your audience. Once you know what they want, what their expectations are – and how they are being affected by incoming trends, you can design an advertising and marketing campaign that caters to these needs and engages directly with them.
Social Media channels and digital experiences with Influencers and Bloggers can reduce the overall expenditure for marketing and advertising; but it does not mean you should not budget for this area of your business – if you are not seen, you will not be remembered. How you promote and engage with your customers will determine how well you stand out.
There are lots of different online tools and data collection functions that will let you find out exactly who you need to be appealing to, and what the best way to connect with them is – as well as what their general likes and dislikes are. If your company uses this information wisely, you can create templates of what your ‘average’ customer is like and brainstorm ways in which you can engage with them. These buyer personas and role play exercises let you develop targeted promotions and adverts, that are more likely to appeal to your chosen demographic – putting you at an advantage against untargeted strategies, and standing out as a relevant Industry Leader.
5. Displaying Experience and an Emotional Connection
Your customer wants to know that they can trust you. Your company needs to be seen to be fully conversant with its market and associated technologies. By displaying your experience and connecting with your audience to educate them, you position yourself as a ‘go to’ brand – which will assist you in gaining exposure.
91% of people felt that when they had a connection with a company, it was a positive one
Use your platforms to tell a story – let your audience see what your motivations were for starting, how you’ve overcome trials and situations to become the business you are today. By encouraging empathy, you are building an emotional connection with your audience – who will be more likely to remember your brand because of how it affected them on a more meaningful level.
6. Developing Your Brand Strategy
Having a plan is vital. If your company is convoluted and bloated with unnecessary procedures, you will not be able to react fast to real-time events or capitalize on market opportunities.
A brand strategy pulls together all the streams of your business and sorts them into manageable, actionable areas of focus.
Your staff need to know what areas they need to be focusing on, and what to do in a variety of different situations – a brand strategy provides the framework for this to be built on, and gives your business a solid foundation moving forward.
In terms of brand exposure and standing out – having a well ordered and highly reactive business will allow your customers to engage with you on a better footing, and it will boost their experience with you.
The better your company runs, the better experience you can offer – and the more memorable your business will become for your current customer base and those that may be thinking of purchasing from you.
7. Being Better than your Competition
The bottom line is that to be seen and heard as the best in the industry, you need to be the best. You need to stand out more than others for the right reasons, and provide a superior product and service.
Analyzing your competitors is an important step in any strategic business plan.
You need to know what areas they are focusing on:
- What events they are attending or sponsoring?
- How well their audience are engaging with them?
- What is their best selling product/s?
- Have they optimized their online presence?
- Are they using any digital strategies? (Such as Social Selling or Social Media Marketing)
Your competitors can be a great source of learning – if they’ve done something exceptionally well, or exceptionally bad, you can take this information and create a case study.
Case studies allow you to look in depth at individual situations and discover how your competitor is functioning – encourage your staff to look at these studies and ask questions – what would they have done in that particular situation? How would they have handled it, and what would they have done differently?
Actively keeping your company aware of its customer base and responding to their needs, without losing sight of your brand values and ethics will give your company a strong foundation to build on. With the right marketing approach and handle of data analytics and social media strategies, you can position your company to be the first thought in a consumer’s mind.