10 Ways to Beat Competition: Way 2 – Using Uniqueness
Uniqueness is that aspect of your goods or services that sets you apart from competition. It is simply your unique selling point (proposition). It is that something that is really special about what you offer that makes people leave their preferred brand for what you offer, or makes your customers keep coming back for your products or services.
“The key to effective selling in this situation is what advertising and marketing professionals call a “unique selling proposition” (USP). Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully.” Entreprenur.com
Sometime back, when my mum used to make powdered cocoa, our sales was quite low because it was an already saturated market. Young me (about 15years old then), came up with an idea, I thought, ‘if most people that buys these packed cocoa powder are actually nursing mothers, then a little gift for their babies, in the pack might sway them to our product’. So I told my mum to buy a pack of balloons and we started putting a balloon per sachet of cocoa powder. Of course this increased our cost of production from N3.00 to N3.25 and we still sold at N5.00 but the sales and turnover we had in the first 3months shot up over 300%. Later, others learned the trick and the rest is history now.
Uniqueness is like a game changer when you want to beat your competition. It might be something drastic or something passionate, the major trick is to (i) do market sampling/survey and fill customer’s pulse (ii) put yourself in customers’ shoes and (iii) be creative at filling the gaps.
Here are few examples of how your business can become unique:
- Unique/Secrete ingredient: This works well for people offering items that requires several ingredients to produce. Your unique ingredient doesn’t have to an active ingredient, in most case it is just something that tilts the taste a little, the fragrance or the color. For example, I know of a popular football joint that sells barbequed turkey and the unique ingredient is the sauce, something between Chinese sauce and Indian sauce, and people keep coming back just for the turkey.
- Special Customer service: For people who offer service, to be ahead of competition you should have a unique customer care service. A customer service that is top-notch, from pre-service to the post-service. Imagine a saloon that the stylists know you by name, know your kids and even send you messages on special days; you would most likely be loyal to them.
- Carve a Niche: You can also carve a niche for yourself; appeal to a particular class of people. For example, if you are in the relaxation club business, you can decide to make yours for strictly adults (Age 40 and above) and make sure the music, the décor, the atmosphere is from way back then. This makes your business unique and appealing to that class of people and you know people love it when their class is recognized. Also Iphone Vs Samsung!
- Gift and extras: If it is free, people want it even when they don’t really need it. This can set your business way above competition. You can get gifts at negligible costs and include it in your package; you can also slight increase your own content, for example if the standard content is 450 grams you can make yours 480 grams. This works like magic but like I said earlier, others will soon follow and close the advantage. Example is Pepsi and Coke, Pepsi made the longer throat bottle of 60cl for same N100 while Coke was still 50cl at same N100 and Pepsi was able to push up their market share but soon after Coke followed suit and made their own 60cl bottles.
Beating Competition using uniqueness of product or service is like a mental game, competition who wants to remain in business would also push back, rivalry between Pepsi and Coke, Iphone and Samsung, Windows and Mac are common examples we can relate with. Hence, I will advise you stay tuned for what comes next in Ways to Beat Competition: Way 3 – Using Branding