How Entrepreneurs Can Differentiate Their Offerings in a Crowded Market

Newsweek Magazine
Demonstrating the unique value your business offers can help set your business apart from the competition

Newsweek Expert PanelA crowded market can present entrepreneurs with a number of challenges. In addition to building up the business and establishing connections with prospective customers, entrepreneurs also have to know how to navigate competition. Others in the market may offer similar or even the same products or services, so learning how to best appeal to potential customers helps set your business apart.

When customers have a variety of choices, demonstrating the value your business can offer is essential to attracting and retaining those customers. To help, 12 Newsweek Expert Forum members share how entrepreneurs can approach differentiating their products or services in an oversaturated market.

1. Focus on Areas Where Competitors Are Weak

Differentiation can come in a variety of ways through the product, service, go-to-market motions, customer experience and more. Weigh each dimension against competing products and push on areas where others are weaker. Pricing and brand leverage are other overlooked assets one should consciously look at while trying to differentiate. – Nitin Kumar, zblocks

2. Develop a Pricing Strategy

Adopting the right pricing strategy can prove to be an effective differentiation method in a crowded market. This can be achieved by developing different offerings or prices to cater to different customer segments. However, an entrepreneur must be familiar with situational factors, such as demand for products and services, the time of the year and overall competition, before using this strategy. – Dr. Kira Graves, Kira Graves Consulting

3. Examine What Clients Value Most

Explore value from clients’ points of view. What matters to them? Based on what is currently on the market, what would they like that isn’t being offered? If your product or service provides those solutions, be sure to speak to that value. If it doesn’t, determine if you can adapt your offering to provide what the marketplace needs and wants. – Diane Helbig, Helbig Enterprises

4. Use Pain Points as Inspiration

Determine what exasperates and even infuriates your market most about services or products in the sector and eliminate those pain points. Then determine what services and products would positively blow the minds of your market and create them. – Mark Goulston, Mark Goulston, M.D., Inc.

5. Understand What Precisely Sets You Apart Through Research

I think that this boils down to knowing what makes your product or service unique from what the competition offers. It’s important to conduct competitor analysis and research. This is the key to truly understanding what they offer and how what you offer is different. It’s also important to highlight how you are different in your marketing materials as well. – Elliott Smith, The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center

6. Craft a Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is a critical component of a successful business that is often ignored. By being strategic in how you build, promote and employ your brand, you unlock significant competitive advantages for your business in the marketplace. A strong business brand enables customers and prospects to quickly understand why your solution fulfills their needs to move them toward a buying decision. – Renée T. Walker, RENEE WALKER & ASSOCIATES

7. Demonstrate Your Value

The key is to demonstrate what makes you different in the value you provide. Are you at a lower cost? Is it the stellar results you achieve, the quality of service or the markets you serve? It is critical to be clear on who the ideal client is as well as how to solve their problems and achieve their goals better than other options. – Matt Domo, FifthVantage

8. Educate Clients on the ‘Why’

In order to differentiate itself from others, a business must effectively educate its clients on why they do what they do (solving problems), not what they do (selling products or services) through webinars, workshops, presentations, media outreach, the website, collateral, etc. This should be done while also emphasizing the organization’s key unique and valuable attributes, which help separate them from the competition. – Alan Wozniak, Business Health Matters (BHM) Executive Consulting

9. Utilize Your Business’s Journey

Integrating your story and validating your bumps along the way will not only keep you focused on your vision, but it will also demonstrate your authenticity and ability to relate to your customers. Your journey has and will continue to have the content you need to foster your brand and fuel creativity. – Leah MaroneCorporate Wellness Consultant

10. Offer Valuable Free Content

Offering original, evergreen, rich and valuable free content that addresses a need or solves a problem is one way to differentiate your product or service. Over time, this strategy will boost your credibility and trustworthiness factor. This content will also be shared, driving SEO and attracting prospects and new customers to your business. – Lisa Lundy, Lisa A Lundy

11. Leverage Relationships

Building on relationships is a critical differentiator. People work with those they know, like and trust. Being able to demonstrate a synergistic effort to accomplish each party’s goals will create a win-win dynamic. – Raquel Olivier, The Olivier Incorporated

12. Highlight Your Strengths as Selling Points

Capitalize off strong points that convert. Promoting your business by explaining why your company is different is vital in a crowded market. Whether it be lower prices, higher quality products or services or even free shipping, it’s vital to pull out the strong points as to why consumers should choose your company over the competition. – Tammy Sons, Tn Nursery