5 Ways to Get a Leg Up on Your Competitors

Every company wants to have the upper hand over other businesses. They want to be seen as the go-to, in-demand brand among their target audience. They want their products and services to outperform those of any other relatively similar company in the market. But with so many new businesses launching each year, accomplishing these things is much easier said than done.

Differentiating your brand from others requires some tactical effort. You need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate why your product or service is better than anything else available.

This messaging needs to be persuasive across all of your platforms — from your email newsletter to your LinkedIn biography to your demo videos. In a matter of seconds, a consumer needs to see why they should purchase from you rather than take their business elsewhere.

Now this may seem daunting, especially if you are an up-and-coming brand with limited resources. Thankfully, there are proven ways to establish yourself and increase your brand presence. So if you’re looking to get a leg up on your rivals, follow these five tips to outdo the competition.

1. Prioritize Long-Term Growth

Source: entrepreneur.com

When it comes to growing your business, going viral is not always the ideal scenario. While a one-hit wonder can spike sales and traffic, it’s not sustainable. You may not be able to keep up with a suddenly massive demand for your product from a logistical standpoint.

Additionally, once the craze for the product has reached its peak, customers will be looking for more — and quickly. If you’re unable to meet their needs, they will soon move on to the next greatest thing that another brand is marketing.

Prioritizing long-term growth is a more realistic strategy for any company looking to stand out. Working with a growth marketing agency that specializes in enabling brands to grow consistently can make a significant difference.

An agency can help you build momentum over time, whether that’s by increasing organic traffic through SEO or establishing brand leadership with digital PR. And since such agencies are well-versed in analytics, they’ll be able to spot what is and isn’t working for your company and reallocate resources appropriately.

2. Listen to Your Consumers

Where many companies slip up is in spending too much time thinking about their competitors and not enough thinking about their customers.

In order to win in the market, you need to prioritize your consumers’ needs. This means being an active, engaged company that listens and responds appropriately.

Asking for feedback via customer surveys and reviews is a good place to start. You may also decide to do polls on social media or conduct focus groups to get a more thorough sense of your consumers’ thoughts.

Being a customer-centric company also involves anticipating what your target market needs before they even know they need it.

For example, if you’re a catering company, perhaps you offer eco-friendly containers for guests to bring home extra food.

It may not be the first thing a customer thinks about when selecting a caterer, but it’s a compelling value add. By listening to your customers, you are putting them first, which can boost customer retention and loyalty as well.

3. Partner With Non-Competing Businesses

Source: theinsurer.com

Collaborations and partnerships are another way to grow your audience along with your revenue. When two companies work together, each brand can tap into its counterpart’s specific audience.

By doing so, there is a greater opportunity to increase your social followers and thus expand your consumer base. A collaboration is also a way to spark excitement and buzz within the marketplace.

This is what recently happened with Stanley, which partnered with Starbucks to create custom, limited-edition tumblers sold in Target stores. The excitement over the new tumbler was unmatched, selling out within a few minutes at most locations.

This partnership and the frenzy it created boosted sales and extended audience reach for both parties in the partnership. This one example shows how cross-promotion can be advantageous to your overall brand presence.

4. Gain Insights Via Social Media

How great would it be if you could be a fly on the wall during one of your competitor’s strategy meetings? While you may not be able to make this happen, the next best thing is gaining insights via social media.

Monitoring your competitors’ social media feeds allows you to see what offerings and positioning tactics they’re trying out. Watching how their followers react and respond to posts can be educational for your own growth strategies.

Let’s say you’re in the food business, and one of your competitors just launched a new product boasting about its health benefits.

Savvy, health-conscious consumers who recognize the product is filled with non-organic ingredients may be responding negatively to the product launch on social media. Seeing this reaction may inform your own product development and marketing tactics. In a similar vein, you may find a competitor analysis platform to be a worthwhile investment.

5. Be Consistent

Source: inspireresults.com

From your homepage to your marketing brochures to your social media posts, consistent branding is essential. Being consistent is key to becoming recognizable.

The moment a user lands on your site, they should know it’s your brand. Aesthetically, it needs to represent your unique point of view. The colors you select for your site and the overall theme needs to align with your positioning.

Companies with consistent branding stand out among audiences. The Nike swoosh is recognizable no matter where in the world a consumer is located. The same goes for Starbucks iconic siren logo.

Consumers who recognize a brand are more likely to return to it, especially if the customer service and product selection match their needs. Refining your brand and solidifying your positioning can go a long way in enabling you to rise above the competition.

Takeaways

When it comes to business, you should always have one eye on your competition — with the operative word being “one.” In other words, you want to know what your rivals are up to, but not at the expense of losing sight of your audience. Prioritize your customers, focusing on how you can elevate the overall experience for them.

Of course, making your customers see you as head-and-shoulders over other brands isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s a slow and steady climb to the top. Yet it can be much more beneficial to take the slow route than grasp for the top and be unprepared for your success. You know your business better than anyone else, so keep these strategies in mind and refine them to meet your growth needs.