In a crowded market, standing out is hard. It’s easy to get lost, to feel like an insignificant dot compared to the giants. Indeed, it’s an indescribable state. So how do you navigate the chaos without being engulfed in this fast-paced industry?
Whether you run a service marketplace, a marketing agency, or perhaps a personal brand, the road to distinguishing your brand from the pack is the same—no gimmicks or needing to throw a couple of millions around.
In fact, you need to stop using the same tired cliches other businesses use to differentiate their brand. According to Warren Buffet, there’s a ‘natural progression’ to how good ideas go badly wrong. He called this progression the ‘three Is.’
First, come the Innovators who saw the opportunities that others didn’t. Then come the Imitators, who copy the brilliant innovators, sometimes even improve on the idea. And then comes the Idiots, whose avarice undermines the innovation they are trying to exploit.
To stand out from the crowd, you have to do what the crowds have never done. First, you might need to gather around your team for a brainstorming session to think of a unique edge. But, before that, let’s dive deeper into what it means to differentiate your brand and attract your audience.
How do you ‘differentiate’ your brand?
Many marketers often confuse differentiation with branding and positioning, which is a flawed way to look at it. How your brand looks may not matter as much as you thought. It’s about who you are and what you want to do.
Your goal is going to be centered on two things:
- Standing out from your competitors, and
- Communicating what you do well.
For instance, how you stand out from your competitors will depend on what they are already doing. If they’re offering a full service, you can decide to find something relatively distinct from that.
Even if your business doesn’t have any unique attributes to differentiate itself, here are some ways you can leverage to build a brand that stands out.
1. Differentiate your brand through content
It’s been long said that ‘content is king.’ That’s because your audience wants fresh content. They want to remain engaged, to cling to your brand like a needy lover. So when you get a new lead, it becomes a love story where you continually remind them that you care and cherish them.
When you stop updating your website, blog, and social handles, it’s like when your significant other suddenly stops texting you. To many, that’s a breakup. But when you create content. When you consistently engage them, you keep them coming back for more.
Not only will you establish your brand as an authority, but you will also attract networks without struggling to build them. As a result, you get backlinks, social shares, mentions, traffic, and more conversions.
That is only possible when you invest in your content marketing strategy. Forget about the cost, which is minimal compared to the upsides.
2. Differentiate your brand through industry-focus
A unique way to stand out from the noise is to focus on a specific industry or client type. This approach works because clients prefer to work with a specialist rather than a generalist. You need to narrow down your brand’s focus to the underserved market.
One thing with niching is that it comes with many other benefits. For instance, clients within an industry usually know each other pretty well, and they are likely to recommend your brand to their friends in the industry.
When you focus on a single industry, it helps you understand its problems deeply, helping make client acquisition easier. For example, Gigapay aims to build a world where anyone can work anywhere without any worries or risks about how to get paid.
A specific aim like this helps narrow down the ideal target audience while helping develop industry-specific solutions. When your competitors tackle the big problems, do something different and focus on commonly overlooked terrain.
You can gradually enlarge your coast and target even a bigger market when you’ve served the unserved market.
3. Be the best at what you do
As Jason Fried and DHH once said, “Many amateur golfers think they need expensive clubs. But it’s the swing that matters, not the club. Give Tiger Woods a set of cheap clubs, and he’ll still destroy you.”
For your business to thrive, you will need more than a marketing strategy. Your business must be skilled at what it does. So instead of copying others, make them copy you. Think about why you’re in business, why you do what you do, then continually improve.
Your aim should be to do better. To offer new features. New pricing models. When you promise your target something valuable and deliver beyond their expectations, they immediately fall in love with your brand.
While your competitors focus on securing the next bag, focus on delivering the next impeccable service or product. When customers are satisfied with your services, they will subscribe, refer, bookmark, buy and read your emails without needing a nudge.
Differentiating your brand and attracting your target market is not a walk in the park. But it’s possible the moment you understand an edge that makes your brand stand out. Perhaps your services are one of a kind, or maybe because your content is unique and valuable.
You could also set your brand aside through your expertise, experience in the industry, how your brand communicates, or even your pricing models. Feel free to work with your team to discover a unique angle to position your brand.