Every business has the opportunity to demonstrate their uniqueness. The problem is, most never even take the time or make an effort to understand why they are different from their competition or articulate it effectively. People go into business because they are passionate about something. But so does everyone else. What makes you different? And why should people care?

If you cannot define what makes you different and valuable to your target audience, eventually, you will be nothing more than another low-cost commodity fighting for a position by playing the pricing game.

Think about this. Your shopping for a major appliance for your home and once you have decided on the make and model, the price seems to be the only thing you are thinking about.  All those companies are selling pretty much the same thing. Those businesses need to understand what makes them different and why their customers should care.

So how do you stop being a commodity and start being a brand worth loving?

The first thing you need to do is understand why you got into business in the first place. What drove you, or the company you work for, to incorporate and start serving customers?  

Many young entrepreneurs want to make more money and have greater independence. Those are outcomes and not reasons for starting a company – especially knowing that one out of every two companies fails in the first five years.

Questions every business should ask themselves regularly:

  • Who are the people we serve, and how do we make their lives better?
  • What problems do they have, and how important is it to them that those problems get solved?
  • Can we solve their problems in ways that they will find financially viable and easily implementable?
  • Why do our customers or prospects find us valuable?
  • How do we serve our clients better than our competitors, and what makes them loyal to us?
  • Do we have the policies and processes in place that make it easy for our customers to work with us?
  • Do we enable them to tell our brand story to those they influence?
  • Do our employees believe in the value of the company, and are they trained and empowered to take care of our clients?
  • Can our employees answer the questions above?

Being able to answer those questions regularly means you are on your way to understanding who you are valuable to, why you are valuable to them, and then enables you to offer them the customer experience they desire, which will keep them loyal and make them champions of your brand.

To make this happen, your employees need to be engaged. Most importantly, the entire company must believe in your differentiators and be able to articulate those differences effectively. They need to know that your products or services are superior to those of your competitors and how your company solves the problems your clients more efficiently. If they do not, how can they be expected to convince your customers that you are the right choice for them?

Everything starts with your employees. They need to be on-board with the missions and message. They need to be trained on the nuances of your product/service and brand. Only then are you on the right path to enabling them to provide the service and expertise to your customers.

  • Do your employees know what makes you valuable?
  • Do they understand the makeup and motivations of your best customers?
  • Do they understand the types of issues your clients have and how you solve them?
  • Do they understand why your customers buy from you and not your competition?
  • Do they know how to provide service to customers that will wow them?
  • Do they know how to tell the story of your company in a compelling way that demonstrates why you are the right choice for your customers?

Knowing the answers to these questions is where to begin when trying to convince people as to what makes you different.