How to Differentiate Your Business From Your Competition and Create Raving Fans
According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is: “anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” Customer retention not only helps to increase the profits of your business, but it also helps to differentiate your business from your competitors by building your brand.
Business Differentiation Strategies
Consider these strategies to help customer retention and develop raving fans for your business.
1. Create More Products for Your Best Customers
Solve more problems for your existing customers, and you’ll build loyalty and differentiate your business. If you sell a product or service that clients love, you can grow market share by diversifying your product and service offerings. Offering new products to your existing customers is a great way to create brand loyalty.
Food and consumer goods businesses have used this approach for years. As an example, if you like Crest toothpaste, Proctor and Gamble can sell you a variety of Crest products.Most consumers find a brand they like, and stick with it. If you ask buyers for feedback and make improvements, you can develop repeat business for decades to come. However, it is important to analyze the ROI on developing new products. Other options include acquiring new companies to add products or services or setting up affiliate relationships with other companies to market new products.
Many successful businesses operate in a particular niche.
2. Find a Profitable Niche
Focus on a particular niche, and become the preferred business for that niche.
If you specialize in a niche, you can dig deeper to find out what customers want, and how to meet their needs. Your target market is smaller, and you can be more creative in your marketing efforts.
The pet industry is a great example.
As The Balance points out, there are an estimated 180 million dogs and cats in the US. Many consumers are willing to spend large amounts on their pets, which is why high-end pet products are in demand. Pet owners are paying top dollar for gourmet dog food, pet toys, and treats.
There are over 2.7 million show horses in the US, according to a 2017 study. The annual cost to own a horse is $3,876, and the cost for show horses is even higher. Horse owners are passionate about their animals, and are willing to spend money.
If you can build a reputation in a particular niche, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors. A profitable niche is also repeatable and teachable. If you decide to sell your business, you can teach the new buyer how to operate profitably.
3. Disrupt Your Industry
Customers are willing to pay a premium for a disruptive product that solves a unique problem. Uber and Airbnb are two recent examples. Uber disrupted the taxi business, while Airbnb changed how people view hotels.
If you implement a disruptive product or service, you can maximize market share and differentiate your company from your competitors. Customers are also willing to pay more if you can find a solution to something they need, and you can sharply increase company profits.
Give your customers a better buying experience, and they’ll keep coming back.
4. Improve the Customer Experience
Derek Sivers, the Founder of CD Baby is quoted in HelpScout as saying: “Customer service is the new marketing.” According to the Gartner study, 64% of people believe that customer experience is more important than price.
You can get attention and generate a repeatable customer base by making the buying process fast and simple.
Consider these points:
- As this study explains, 73% of companies that provide an “above average” customer experience generate better financial results than their competitors.
- HelpScout also notes a 2017 study, which states that: “More than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service.” The same report notes that: “33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.”
- A Salesforce report found that: “74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult.”
Customers value their time. Forrester notes that: “The majority (66%) of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience.”
Think about the number of times that you’ve clicked out of a website, because site navigation is difficult. If web pages load slowly, or if the e-commerce functionality is unclear, you’ll shop somewhere else.
Your customers are searching for a better buying experience. Use these tips to make improvements:
Encourage Customer Interaction
Pulse recommends that you stay in touch with your customers, and reward them for repeat business. Put into place some type of “post sales” strategy. A survey conducted by Invesp found, “The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.” Customers who stop doing business with a company often feel the company could have done something to retain them.
Many businesses, including some of your competitors, don’t stay in touch consistently.
Encourage and reward current customers to tell others about promotions, rewards programs, and product updates. Ask for feedback on your products, and use positive comments as testimonials. These efforts increase brand awareness in the minds of your customers.
Leverage Social Media
Social media is a great way to monitor customer interest and preferences. Building a relationship with your customers shows you care. It will help to build trust and develop your brand.
Most social media engagement includes asking questions or sharing information. You can post questions about a topic that matters to your customers, analyze their answers and reactions, and use the results to provide useful information to your customers. If you can answer questions and solve problems, you’ll build trust with both prospects and clients.
Building a content calendar is a great way to expand your social media presence and communicate a consistent message.
Provide a Consistent Message
It is important to review your business goals and align those goals with how your product or service helps your customers. Take a look at your entire marketing process, and make improvements to get more attention and to generate interest.
Do your market strategies include your unique value proposition? Does your marketing documents represent your brand, including color, font, and logos?
All of your marketing strategies (web, print, e-commerce, social media) should present a consistent, clear message about your firm. Your logos, color usage, and text must present the same message.
This solidifies your brand in the eyes of your customers, and the consistent message will drive more sales.
How does all of this effort improve your business results?
How You Benefit
Differentiation will help you create recurring revenue streams and develop your brand.
Your firm can generate repeat sales to a customer base without spending marketing dollars. If you spend more time with the same customer base, you’ll get to know their wants and needs. Use that valuable knowledge to solve more problems for your customers.
Providing solutions to your customers increase profitability and make your business more attractive to a potential buyer. To create your own strategies to differentiate a business, talk with a marketing expert.
Raincatcher is a group of industry veterans who can assess your business and help you create a more valuable enterprise. Work with Raincatcher to generate higher profits, and to build a more attractive business.