“How can I stand out from competitors with a similar product?” is a recurring question for businesses of all sizes as they look to compete more effectively. A new company will want to have a strong impression on its potential buyers, and not blend in with existing players. An established business is always considering what it can do to be better than competitors in order to increase market share.
It’s no secret that when a customer is considering a product, they’re likely looking at more than one option. So, how do you show to a customer that your product and company are the better option, in comparison to any other company and offering? Besides bringing something unique to the table, your company needs to build a brand with a message that gets noticed more often, and more positively than your peers.
Gain insights on your competitor
Knowing more about your competition is one of the best places to start when wanting to stand out, and competitive intelligence can help with that. While it’s easy to browse your competitor’s website and LinkedIn, it may not give the quality of information necessary to make important decisions for your business. Utilizing competitive intelligence can provide a more in-depth analysis into competitors, as well as their operational, organizational and commercial practices.
These analyzed insights can give businesses the tools necessary to make informed decisions, anticipate a competitors next move, as well as stay on top of market trends and customer pain points. Through utilizing competitive intelligence businesses can get useful information on their competitors that is not readily available to help in decision making, product design, pricing and more.
Having access to insights on a competitor can give businesses the necessary edge to stand out in an ever-changing market and with 84% of businesses saying that markets have gotten more crowded, 57% of small enterprises say that the majority of their sales opportunities involve at least one competitor, and 59% of large enterprises say their markets have become much more crowded, it’s easy to see why a business would use competitive intelligence to gain that edge.
Use your reviews
It’s becoming faster and easier for consumers to make purchases online without ever connecting with a sales rep, which raises the importance of a company’s online presence. Whether selling B2B or B2C, G2 has stated that a successful business cannot thrive without acknowledging that it is selling a product to another individual, and that successful B2B and B2C businesses need to not only build trust, but also rapport between the individuals in the buying process. Reviews from existing or former customers are an excellent resource to build trust and rapport, and can have a huge impact on whether a potential customer moves forward. In 2021, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read a review when deciding to visit a business and 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
While many companies in your market may only be using positive reviews in their marketing, it’s important and beneficial to have all customer reviews available to your prospects. Showcasing negative reviews can allow your company to build better trust with potential customers. If you’ve ever been to a website and found that every reviewer loved every product, and thought this was a little suspicious, you’re not alone. 95% of consumers suspect censorship or fake reviews when they don’t see any negative ones.
While a significantly greater number of negative reviews than positive ones can negatively impact your business, having a few negative reviews can boost a consumer’s trust in a product. It can also allow a chance to offer a solution to whatever problem caused the customer to leave the negative review and allows potential buyers to know that if they have issues, they too, will get help. An empathy study has shown that personable responses to negative comments, which offer a solution, can increase positive feelings towards a brand. With those things in mind, using customers’ unbiased reviews can allow your business to gain trust with new potential buyers, and set yourself apart from other businesses in your market who don’t, or who only utilize positive reviews.
Utilize UGC and EGC
User Generated Content (UGC), and Employee Generated Content (EGC) are any content – such as text, video, review, photos, etc., that are created by people and not by a brand. Similar to using reviews, UGC and EGC allow a company to take its authenticity to a new level. So, with UGC being seen as 2.4X more authentic to consumers and 93% of marketers agreeing that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by a brand, companies need to work harder to establish themselves as trustworthy and authentic to win over potential customers.
Two of the main benefits of UGC and EGC is that they have minimal cost and don’t require much to be created. An EGC can be as simple as an employee saying what they like about working for the company, and UGC can be pre-existing tweets, reviews and YouTube content generated by consumers. Not only is this content easy to create or already created, many people would be willing to give brands permission to use their content and over 60% of consumers say they would be more likely to purchase from a company that invited them to create UGC. This indicates that brands would not need to have a large budget for UGC or EGC and can benefit greatly, as 90% of consumers say UGC holds more influence over their buying decision than promotional emails, according to HubSpot.
Building your personal brand
Establish a network and be seen as a trusted advisor that people want to do business with, rather than a commodity. Whether this is through making individual connections with one of LinkedIn’s 722 million members to build your brand, or utilizing a larger budget to saturate your market with digital ads, promoted content, etc., getting your brand in front of online users can be your greatest asset, especially when current social media platforms have over 4 billion users combined, according to Hubspot.
Rely on others for support
Helping companies analyze their peers across multiple categories is a key activity that HelloInfo is asked to do during strategic competitive research. Utilizing various research methodologies such as interviews, secondary research and mystery shopping, can provide the edge needed to stand out against competitors, and help to better understand customer pain points and reviews. If your company has a product or service that needs support in standing out against competitors with similar offerings, We would love to support you and your organization to compete better in today’s fast-evolving markets. Schedule a call to learn more about how we can support you in making sure that your company and product have the information you need to stand out from the rest.
Here at HelloInfo, we help our clients answer questions so they can make strategic decisions. Our HelloHow? blog series outlines different frameworks and approaches to carrying out strategic intelligence research. For other HelloHow? articles, see our blog, Spotlight.