You’re the little fish in a big pond. The competition is fierce and they seem to have unlimited resources. How can you stand out and make sure you’re differentiating yourself from the pack?
As a business owner, it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly swimming upstream. You have larger, established competitors who seem to have unlimited resources. You have to wear a lot of hats, be the jack of all trades, do it all with limited resources, and work a little harder to be noticed.
But being the underdog has its advantages. In many ways, we have more freedom to be nimble and try new things.
How do you stand out from the competition as the underdog?
Being the underdog doesn’t mean you can’t win. There are plenty of examples of small or new businesses who have triumphed over their larger competitors by being witty, creative, and passionate about what they do.
So if you find yourself up against the big guys, don’t despair—use these tips to help you stand out from the competition, especially if you’re not the big dog.
Don’t be afraid to be different.
Embrace what makes you unique and use it to your advantage therefore, stand out from the crowd and attract attention.
Think outside the box.
Don’t be afraid to try new things or approach problems from a different perspective.
If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change course.
Trying new things can be scary, but it’s also where great ideas come from. So go ahead and take some chances!
Let them get to know you.
Your brand is your identity. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors and tells your customers who you are and what you stand for. When done right, branding can be incredibly powerful—it can help you build trust with your customers, make you more relatable than your larger competitors, and even make you more memorable. Make sure your branding is consistent across all platforms, from your website to your social media accounts.
Develop a strong brand identity.
Create a unique logo, use consistent branding across all of your marketing materials, and make sure your brand message is clear and concise.
Make some noise.
Don’t be afraid of a little self-promotion—if there’s no one else talking about you, chances are no one will know you exist. Whatever route you choose, make sure it feels authentic to your brand voice and mission so that people can see how you stand out from the crowd, even when they don’t know your name yet.
When everyone zigs, zag.
Find opportunities to partner with bigger brands or companies that complement—not compete—with your business. Getting involved with industry thought leaders will not only help position you as an expert in your field but also get your foot in the door with a new set of potential customers.
Make a good-lasting first impression.
Focusing on your buyer’s journey or customer experience can help you create a smoother, natural experience for your clients. The goal is to make it easy for potential clients to do business with you because if you can provide a seamless experience from start to finish, you’ll be head and shoulders above your competition.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Take the time to get to know your customers on a personal level. What do they like? What do they need? How can you make their lives easier? When you take the time to understand your customers, they’ll appreciate it—and they’ll be more likely to do business with you as a result.
In today’s day and age, if customers have a problem or question, they want it addressed ASAP—preferably in real-time. Whether that means responding to their emails/calls right away or going above and beyond to solve their problem, being responsive will help you stand out from the competition—and it will keep your customers coming back for more.
Make sure your customer service is top-notch.
This is something that big businesses often struggle with because they have too many customers to keep track of. If you offer better support and can help your clients feel more at ease during (and after!) the buying process, they’re more likely to avail your service and products again, or send referrals. You may not be able to offer the 5-star resort amenities your competitors can, but it shouldn’t cost you any more to offer the 5-star customer service they really want.
Just keep swimming
So there you have it! A few tips on how you can compete against the big fish in the industry. By focusing on branding and customer experience, you’ll be able to create a loyal following of clients who appreciate what makes you unique. And, when it comes time to swim with the sharks…you’ll be ready!
Need some help?
Crunchy Lemons would love to give you a free business consultation!