Every industry and niche has competition — some higher than others — and these competitors want nothing more than to take all of the business. The top positioned company in every industry will typically have one thing in common — they provide additional value, above and beyond the other competitors.
I just ordered a new artificial Christmas tree the other day off Amazon because of the extra value they provide. They provided the lowest price for the pre-lit LED model I wanted, shipped it for free, got it to me in two days, and best of all I didn’t have to transport it home from a local store. All of these value-adds gave them the competitive advantage, which earned my business.
The same logic applies to every single business out there — provide extra value to your customers and you will give yourself a competitive advantage.
Strategies to position your company as an industry leader are universal and can be applied by any business — and any industry — brick and mortar or online-based. The four-step formula below is one that anyone can leverage and take full advantage of.
Offer an innovative feature not available anywhere else.
The best companies always have an innovative component not offered by any other competitors. I mentioned Amazon earlier — when they released their Prime membership years ago and its free 2-day shipping perk it was a game changer. It resulted in millions of Prime memberships being sold and Amazon taking control of a large portion of the online retail pie.
It wasn’t completely groundbreaking, but it also wasn’t being offered by anyone else. It set them apart and caused consumers to pay attention to them. You need to offer something that makes your business unique and appealing.
Sometimes the simplest perk or feature can go a long way. Ask yourself what would make the entire customer experience more enjoyable — and brainstorm from there.
Showcase and highlight your customers and clients on social media.
Social media has become such an important component of online marketing and there isn’t an industry or niche that can fully dominate without leveraging it — it’s where the attention is and if you aren’t present there you are missing a huge opportunity.
It’s not all about using it as a direct marketing channel, either.
Social media attention, whether it’s likes, comments or re-shares are heavily valued these days. It’s a form of acceptance and approval — its own form of modern-day currency. You can delight your customers simply by mentioning or showcasing them on your social channels. It’s highly effective and doesn’t add to your marketing costs.
Make every customer feel like they are receiving the royal treatment.
Provided the same level of service to all of your customers, whether they are your A-list clientele or first-timers.
It’s one thing to leverage your high-profile testimonials, media and press, but you won’t stand out from it alone. You have to make every single customer feel as if he or she is your top priority.
This approach will lead to referrals and positive reviews online, both of which can help generate additional customers to exponentially grow your business.
Prioritize customer service and satisfaction above everything else.
Going the extra mile in the customer service department will never have an ill effect on your business. Satisfied and happy customers can be your biggest marketing arm, and now with social media allowing everyone to broadcast news and be heard, it results in opinions of companies, both positive and negative, to become wide-spread.
When a client is satisfied, they are going to talk about you every chance they get. Little things like replying to emails immediately or returning phone calls the same day go along ways. While technology has made communication easier, it’s also caused a lot of companies to become lazy and distant — that is the worst thing you can do — you want your clients to feel like they can contact your business any time and via any platform.
This logic applies to any business. Take Apple for example. Are there better products out there? Sure, but the customer service provided at the Apple stores is typically exceptional and customers leave the store satisfied, which is why they dominate every category they compete in.