Unfortunately, your company isn’t the only one out there. Sometimes it feels impossible to differentiate your brand, especially in a saturated market.
Don’t fret. Distinguishing yourself is far less complicated than you think. By following the three tools below, you’ll ensure your brand is in the right position to become a true market leader (and significantly boost your bottom line along the way). Let’s get started.
1. Leverage Audience & Competitor Research
What’s the first step to attract your audience and stand out amid the competition? Do your homework. Get to know your buyers and the other brands that are vying for their attention.
Audience research helps uncover important details about your potential buyers. Your goal is to understand them better by discovering their habits, interests, problems, and what they think of existing solutions to those problems. You can leverage this knowledge to help develop your products or services and better communicate with your target buyers — and outshine your competition.
Need a few ideas to conduct this research? Here are four of our favorites to get you started:
As you start learning more about your audience, you can better assess their journey and interactions with existing solutions. Competitive research involves assessing the market and analyzing places where your product or service could help fill existing gaps.
We’re partial to a couple of platforms here, too:
By combining your audience research and competitive research, you learn more about your customer’s needs and the market’s existing ability to meet those needs. This insight is integral, and it leads us to our next tool.
2. Find a Gap in the Market
Is there a niche that isn’t being properly served? Analyzing your audience and competitors helps you answer that important question. Forbes suggests conducting discovery-focused market research, including a mix of industry reports and audience feedback sessions to identify public trends while revealing trends that may not be public yet — which means you now have the competitive first-to-market edge.
Although detailed research seems strenuous and time consuming, it’s invaluable data. Isolating one of your target audience’s pain points and discovering that nobody has solved it provides an opportunity. Now, you can take this information and use it to position your product or service as a tailored solution to fill the gap in the market — you become an industry leader.
3. Tell Your Brand Story
Now that you’re armed with plenty of audience and market insight, you’re ready to tell your story. The Harvard Business Review reports that 64% of customers attribute their trust in companies with shared values. And the best way to display your values is through your brand story.
Think of your brand story as the subtle intricacies that create your mission statement or your tagline. Emotional engagement occurs when people understand what truly drives your business. Don’t get hung up on sales copy, focus on the details of what make you who you are.
Imagine someone driving through town on their way to a campground. They have a choice between Subway or your sandwich shop. How do you stand out against a nationally recognized sandwich chain? Share the history of your famous homemade bread — your great grandmother’s recipe, passed down by memory, and baked daily. When those intimate details are published on your website, the emotional connection you create easily sells your shop and makes you stand out.
Remember, you aren’t the only author to your brand story. In the age of social media, you quickly develop a following of brand ambassadors. If someone has the best sandwich of their life, they might post it on Instagram and tag your shop. Congratulations, you just made a raving fan. Make sure you nurture those connections and watch your business grow beyond your wildest dreams.
To recap, there are three steps to differentiating your brand. First, you need to leverage audience and competitor research, then you find a gap in the market, and finally, you tell your brand story. Pretty simple, right? Not to mention, if you need any help, just ask Moxie! We love talking about branding.