Launching a business into a saturated market can be extremely tough. On the other hand, the rewards can be great if you successfully find your own space within it, as there’s a proven customer base for the product or service.
Unless you’re the sole company providing the service or product that you do, then you’re going to need to give consumers a reason to go through you instead of one of your competitors, who may already be established in the niche you’re trying to exploit. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done, so to help you out, here are our tips on how to stand out in a saturated market.
Find your USP
In the words of Fizzle: “Deciding on a USP is possibly the most important decision you can make about your business.” But what exactly is a USP? It’s your unique selling point, or in other words, the thing that sets your business apart from the crowd.
The easiest way to think about your USP is from the customer’s point of view — why should they choose to buy from your business in a market full of companies scratching a similar itch as yours? If you can’t answer this question quickly and confidently, then potential customers are unlikely to have a reason to go with you.
For example, if you make sofas, your USP might be that you make bespoke, handcrafted sofas, or it might be that you make affordable flat-pack sofas. It could also be that you stock sofas in a range of eye-catching modern designs and unusual materials, or you could sell traditional leather and fabric sofas. There’s no need to overcomplicate this, and your USP doesn’t need to be so unique that you’re the only business in the world providing it, but you should reconsider your business plan if you can’t think of anything at all that makes your company stand out from all the others in your sector.
Create your ideal customer profile
Once you know your USP, the next step in making sure your business stands out is defining the target audience of your product or service. The more specific you can be about your ideal customer, the more effective your marketing efforts are going to be. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do for your business is to create your ideal customer profile.
For example, if you sell men’s shoes and your USP is that you produce bespoke dress shoes by hand, then your niche market is going to be high-income businessmen. Everything you do should be done with this target audience in mind, and you should tailor your entire business around meeting their wants and needs.
This article from Convince and Convert explains precisely how you can create your ideal customer profile — if you do this successfully, you’ll know exactly what this customer wants. You can then use this information to do everything you can to provide it, setting yourself far apart from more generic businesses.
For example, in our high-end shoes example, your customer is likely to expect an extremely high level of service at every stage of the process, so you should ensure they always have access to a member of your customer service team. A few weeks after the item has been delivered, you could also give them a courtesy call to make sure they’re 100% satisfied with the product — this will give them a level of service that is just as bespoke as the product you’re selling them, which will seriously set you apart from the crowd.
You may have to go to these lengths to provide a service for a high-end product, but that isn’t to say that it will suit every business. To give a real-world example, online car parts retailer Autosessive sets itself apart from its competitors with the car parts finder tool on its homepage. This fits their ideal customer to a tee, setting them apart.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re starting a business in a competitive market, and you’re sure to set yourself apart from the crowd and thrive in whatever sector you enter.