Differentiation is what sets your business apart from the four other farm stores, feed dealers and on-farm supplement suppliers in the tri-county area. But how can you set yourself apart in the marketplace? Just think about what makes it on your 10 o’clock news each night – besides politics and viruses. Stories that are unique, controversial or innovative find their way in front of the viewer audiences. Companies that offer unique or innovative products and services that leave customers something to talk about will attract business and create consumer awareness.
Differentiation is to your strategic advantage. Here are three ways to distinguish your business from your competitors.
Make Your Offer Compelling
Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
Compelling companies are leaders. They are the talk of the town, and this buzz allows the business to gain momentum and grow sales. Now, you’re probably asking yourself what you can do in your particular industry to create buzz. That’s where your innovation and creativity get to thrive. Perhaps you offer a timely promotion for your customers once a year on a product that most everyone uses. Or, you could offer a customer appreciation incentive based on volume of business or number of new customer referrals. Providing education through a producer meeting or open house often sets your business apart, as people appreciate being kept in the know on new products, how to solve challenges in their businesses and learning of new services your business might offer.
Remember, making your business stand out starts with a good product, but also needs to be complemented with exceptional service. That’s why it is important to hire and train employees who are knowledgeable that can show their passion for what they do.
Climb the Reputation Ladder
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it,” said Benjamin Franklin.
The words spoken by Mr. Franklin could not be truer, especially in a digital world, where one wrong move is recorded and can be shared globally via text message or social media with the click of a button. Being known as a reputable company that really cares about its people – both customers and employees – is the first rung in the ladder of trust. And, building trust is the foundation to any long-term relationship. According to inc.com, “creating a good business reputation means honoring a product-returns policy; delivering on time; providing timely and friendly service; publishing accurate ingredients, as well as keeping factual records; and ensuring that goods are safe for consumption.”
Earn Big with Premium Services and Products
The problem with offering products or services similar to everyone else is that it turns your company into a commodity business. Show your customers that you’re a value-added company by explaning how your products add value. It doesn’t take many testimonials or much math to show your potential customers the ROI on a premium product like VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®. Track your customers ordering habits and remind them when they are likely low on the products that they need for the particular season they are in. Offer delivery or stay open later for “after work” pick up. All of these things might seem small, but to the customer, they add a premium and a value, making you stand out from the competition.
Distinguish your business. It’s better to stand out from the crowd, especially when you are differentiating yourself in a positive light. Be unique. Be innovative and uphold the kind of reputation that will make your customers want to come back time and time again.