How To Differentiate Your Business From Your Competitors

May 16, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

We all know the expression “Unique Selling Point” or USP and how important it is that our business is differentiated from the competition.

Personally I believe that while being unique is the ultimate objective, with so much competition, being genuinely unique is incredibly difficult. So I focus on developing propositions which give my customers “stand out” – points that make them stand out head and shoulders above the crowd and make them the obvious choice for customers.

There are many ways to give your business stand out. Below I’ve listed 10 of the most popular ways.

1. Low Price

Guaranteeing the lowest price is a common way to provide stand out.

Primark have built their business on their low prices.

However, cutting margins is a dangerous strategy. Larger players, with their larger buying power could undercut you and potentially force you out of the market. So think twice before focusing on price.

2. High Quality

Outstanding quality is an excellent way to give your business stand out. While the low price positioning relies on large volumes, high quality normally works on a high margin, low volume model

Almost all designer brands work on this model.

3. Superior Service

Excellent service adds value and develops long-term customer loyalty and sets your business apart. What we’re talking about here is going above and beyond what customers expect so that you delight and amaze them.

However it is very difficult to quantify service as everyone claims to provide fantastic service but we all know that only very few actually do so.

4. The Largest Range

Providing the largest product range can provide stand out. A classic example of this is Amazon. For years Amazon could claim the genuine USP of being “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”

Of course several competitors have caught up with Amazon, but they manage to stay ahead because right from the start they clearly differentiated themselves as being the biggest.

5. Convenience

We all like things to be as simple and easy as possible. By removing as many obstacles to ordering or using your product as possible you are focusing your business squarely on your customers’ needs which is absolutely as it should be..

6. Knowledgeable and Authoritative

By positioning your business as the most authoritative and expert in your field, you can powerfully differentiate your business from your competitors.

This approach has most relevance for professionals and other skill-based organisations.

7. Customisation and Personalisation

If you can personalise your product to your customer’s individual requirements, that can become very attractive in our mass market world. Again this is a very customer focused way to give your business stand out.

8. Speed

Speed of service has become a major differentiator in our modern fast paced world. We’ve all become so impatient and demand things immediately.

Domino’s Pizza became famous, when they cut delivery times from 1 hour to 30 minutes. At that time this provided a genuinely game changing USP.

9. New and Unique

Sometimes your product is so new and unique that the product itself is the USP. While other companies may rapidly copy the product, the originator still retains the USP of being the first mover in the market. Just think of the competitive advantage that Apple have gained through their incredible creativity.

10. Guarantees

Guarantees are a great way to differentiate your company. A few years ago, a client of mine, a servicing garage, offered a money back guarantee if their customers weren’t happy with their car’s service. This differentiated them massively from their competitors and led to a huge increase in business.

So how are you going to differentiate your business and give it the stand out it needs to be successful?

Mike Jennings runs Business Development Advisors – a marketing consultancy based near Guildford in England. BDA does companies’ marketing for them in order to grow the business and win new customers. Please find more information at

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