Outshine competition


  • SME
  • Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013

Competitors only become a problem when you don’t know how to handle them effectively, especially in terms of branding and marketing

COMPETITION is good! In fact, I love it. You see, competition is the best driving force behind innovation and business advancement.

That said, competitors only really become a problem if you don’t know how to handle them effectively. In this respect, it basically boils down to having the capability to outshine them in terms of branding and marketing.

However, if you are facing issues with overcoming your competitors, what exactly do you need to do rectify this situation?

Be found easily

In business, one essential rule is that customers will not care about your business offering if they don’t know about you.

As such, having a strong, easily accessible presence across platforms is of paramount importance.

One of the very best platforms to accomplish this is the digital space.

In optimising your website to be ranked first in all related search engines, you maximise your brand’s chances of reaching deeper into your target market, beyond that of your competitors.

Build online communities

An online community is basically a digital cluster of clients on a particular platform that serves as a base for you to reinforce customer loyalty and ensure competitors do not poach clients.

One of the best platforms, if not the very best platform, is social media.

The key to this is to identify which social media platforms your customers actively partake in, attract them by creating a strong impression, and build client relationships there.

On this note, please be warned that building such relationships and the subsequent online community needs a significant amount of time to see results.

As a quick guide to get started, ask yourself these questions:

·Which digital platforms do my customers visit?

·How can I create a strong impression to attract them?

·How do I build a strong relationship with them?

·How can I invite my existing clients to join in my community?

·How can I build an active community based on my existing resources?

Go viral

Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool because people are more likely to adopt buying behaviour after encouragement from a trusted source.

In going viral, you will be generating word of mouth on a large scale across all suitable platforms.

This is important in outshining your competitors because it opens up a very strong marketing channel that encourages adoption of your brand and builds brand loyalty through the personal and emotional connections between your community and new prospects.

Logically, the best place to start is with your online community.

In doing so, you must create brand advocates by incentivising your community to willingly push your brand within their inner circle.

Similarly, you must not ignore the effectiveness of going viral in the physical world.

To encourage this behaviour, you must be ready to provide materials and templates on top of your incentive programmes to ease the word-of-mouth process.

Become an expert

Sadly, the hard truth about business is that there will be many competitors who either have similar or even identical product offerings to you.

Now, in this situation, what really sets your brand apart from them in the minds of your target market is when you are seen as an expert in your industry.

The key to accomplishing this is to educate your target market by providing insights.

To do this, always evaluate what kind of information really matters to your prospects and how they usually seek it.

Once you have figured out these two factors, simply choose the platforms or channels that appeal to them and do your very best to pass on this information on a regular basis.

Build relationships

The thing about generating sustainable profits is that constant business relies on building and, more importantly, maintaining your relationships with clients.

In building these long-term relationships, you basically cement their loyalty to your brand and reduce the chance of competitors poaching your clients away.

To do so, it is best to have a relationship strategy. In this strategy, you need to provide product or service extensions that strengthen their loyalty to your brand.

In this consideration process, you must base your extensions on your market’s key goals of adopting your brand in the first place.

Following that, you must figure out further key benefits they may seek and incorporate them into your business offering.

At this juncture, please let me say that incorporating these tips is only a fraction of the things you can do to face your competitors and overcome them.

Personally, after years of running my business and helping hundreds of other business owners, I believe that the most important way is to commit yourself to constant learning. Always carry out constant market research and seek to understand the activities of your competitors.

Alternatively, you can seek a mentor to advise you on how you can accomplish your goals. Only with this will you be able to identify and exploit the multitude of ways to outshine their rivals.

Pam Siow is the founder of ThinkSpace. A renowned business coach within the region, she helps hundreds of business owners and corporations gain true success with her knowledge and real-world experience. Find out more at ThinkSpace.com.my now.



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