Did you know that a human being in modern society is exposed to over five thousand pieces of marketing every day? We live in a very cluttered world and small businesses have to make an effort to stand out and be seen. So how can you stand out in a crowded market? This has become a very popular question and one of my favourite topics to discuss. The good news is that it’s not that hard to be unique and attract raving fans and in this article I’d like to share some ideas and thoughts that will help you become unique, attractive and irresistible for your market.
Let’s start with rule number 1: Please do not copy your competitors. It’s just not very cool and you are better than that. If you are not creative, then ask someone for help, there are plenty of very smart, innovative and creative people out there.
The next thing you must do (as with any other marketing strategies) is to really understand your target market and what their needs and wants are. Everything you do in marketing is geared towards attracting that market, including your uniqueness and how you position your business.
Now let’s give your business a ‘personality’. What? Yes, if your business was a person, what sort of person would he/she be? Describe him/her in detail. Your business might just be an extension of your own personality or it might be different.
When we work with our clients on branding and positioning, we always look at this first, because the way you communicate and interact all come from your business’s personality. Here is a little test for you: Ask your clients to describe your brand. This will help you determine how they perceive your business. To give you an example, the words we were after for Basic Bananas were professional, different, cheeky, fun, results-driven and that’s usually what we get when put to test.
Your background: Do you have an interesting personal story? Tell it! People do want to hear it (otherwise reality TV would be dead). In today’s world people also want to hear your brand story and how your business came about. Let me throw in a buzz word here: Authenticity. What a word! It always pays off to be authentic, real and human, your clients will appreciate it and find it easier to do business with you.
Your experience: Do you have a unique experience or education? Maybe you are a lawyer who is also a counsellor? Or an accountant who has worked in ten different countries? Or a psychologist who has worked with teenagers for over twenty years? Everyone is unique!
Narrow niche: Do you solve a specific problem? The more specific and specialist you are, the easier it will be to be unique and attract clients.
Let’s give you a few examples: We worked with a plumber who specialises in hot water heaters, hence his business name changed to Mr Waterheater, a kinesiologist who specialises in tooth grinding as this has a huge impact on many other body functions or a chiropractor specialising in headaches. By being clear on the specific problem they solve, these businesses have become unique and attractive to their specific market. Plus as a bonus, it’s easy to refer them.
Extra value: How can you provide extra value to your clients? Look at all of your products and services and discover how you can package and bundle them to make them unique and attractive. For example a dentist might have a maintenance program or a car dealer might include free car washing for a year. Be creative and always look for ways to add more value.
Innovation: How can you be innovative? This is not easy but can be achieved by turning your industry on its head and taking a different approach or using innovative technology. Innovation makes you unique.
Customer service is everything. Provide unique customer experience every time clients and prospects interact with you and your business and you will stand out and create raving fans. It’s the little things that count and make a huge difference such as remembering names, a practitioner offering fresh fruit after an appointment, extraordinary guarantees, an accountant or lawyer that speaks your language, a plumber that leaves the house cleaner than they found it. Be creative!
Now I’d love to give you a challenge. This is one of my favourite exercises and the benefits are huge, we’ve done this with hundreds of businesses! Ask ten people the following question: ‘What would make working with a <insert your industry> even more amazing?’.
You will be surprised by the fabulous ideas your clients and prospects will come up with for you. And even if you just implement two or three of the above ideas, it will make a difference. Remember, it’s the small things that can have a huge impact in your business.