In business, being a small fish in a big pond can be tough. Being a big fish in a big pond can be tough, too. The fact is, today’s markets are so heavily saturated with options that standing out becomes a central issue for most businesses. Floundering with low sales, business owners often make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone. So, what can brands do to set themselves apart from their competitors?
The real answer lies in positioning. Consumers flock to brands they identify or connect with in some way. To create this connection, we have to narrow our marketing focus and hone in on every front. Through these deliberate efforts, any company can set themselves apart from the masses and gain a loyal following to boot.
HOW TO POSITION YOUR BRAND
Evaluate Your Brand’s Current Image
Begin by analyzing your brand’s current position. You may be surprised to find that, through no conscious effort, you did in fact accidentally target certain groups. Maybe your brand isn’t positioned at all. Either way, the key is to find out where you stand.
A good way to gauge your brand’s current position is through social listening. Tap into social networks to see who is saying what about your company. This will give you a good idea of where you stand. Another option? Simply ask people what they think about your brand. This can be offered on your site, delivered to email lists or used during checkout.
Identify Your Direct Competitors
The next step you may have already completed (or at least have an idea about). Who are your direct competitors? Indirect competitors? Where do they market to? How do they advertise? What’s their brand voice like? Essentially, you are completing Step One again, but for those who compete for your customers.
Carve Your Niche
Once you’ve identified your own image and those of your competitors, it’s time to get down to business. With your competitors’ positions in mind, you must now carve your own spot in the market. For instance, if Company A is targeting teens and young adults and Company B is targeting retirees, focusing on the unclaimed middle ground may be in your company’s best interest.
But what if you and your competitors target the same age groups? How can you differentiate your targeting from theirs? By focusing on other specific elements like geographic location or ethnicity, you can zero in on a niche audience, even within the same age demographic.
Again, the key is to distance yourself from your competition. Depending on what your product or service is, the audience available may already be narrow. Always ask: How can we further diversify?
Evaluate Your Sales Cycle
Your sales cycle is integral to the ebb and flow of your business’ finances. Now that you’ve identified a potential direction to shift your focus, you must determine how this will impact your cycle. How will it change with a shift in audience? How will your new buyer personas fit in? These questions are important to answer as they will determine how and when you advertise or promote services.
Remember, specificity is key. Earning loyal, long-standing customers is more valuable and cost effective than attempting to catch your competitor’s target audience.
WE CAN HELP
Once you’ve repositioned, the real work can begin. If your business is looking to create relationships in a new market, visit our website for custom corporate gifting options or contact one of our gifting specialists for tasty, tailored solutions.
For more information on the sales cycle and how your corporate gifting efforts fit in, download our free Sales Cycle infographic today!
Keeping your business ahead of the curve means developing strong relationships — and lots of them. From clients and customers to business partners, vendors, employees and more, your list of vital players is ever growing and increasingly harder to handle. With professional gifting tips and industry insights, Cane River Pecan Company is here to help.