How to Position Yourself Against Growing Competition
Competition is inevitable. Regardless of the product or service you provide or the industry you serve, you’re going to run into other entrepreneurs and companies offering something similar.
In order to stand out, you need to find a way to stick out from the crowd. Many entrepreneurs do this by claiming they’re “the best.” Unfortunately, this positioning can be difficult to sell.
As competition grows, uniqueness can be difficult to prove. Just saying “no one does it like we do” isn’t usually enough to convince customers or clients to work with you. If you truly want to differentiate yourself, you need to create an impenetrable position that a new competitor can’t just take away.
This can sound like a daunting task, but if you’re offering a quality product or service, it’s not that difficult. Here’s what you can do.
1. Acknowledge what your competition does well.
Some entrepreneurs want to claim they’re offering something so unique, they don’t have any competition. But this approach can have serious consequences to the success of your business.
To appropriately position your company, you not only need to acknowledge each and every one of your competitors, you need to recognize what they’re doing well.
Ignoring the competition doesn’t make them go away, but if you know what they’re offering and what your audience likes about what they’re providing, you can better craft your own messaging strategy to find the right position for your brand.
2. Define what you do well.
Now it’s time to identify your own strong suits. Understanding what you do well compared to what your competitors do well can allow you to easily find what makes your organization different.
Take a hard look at where your company excels. Look beyond just “being the best” to identify key areas where you seriously perform better than your competition.
Make a comprehensive list. We’ll come back to this in a minute.
3. Home in on your target market.
When positioning your business in relation to your competition, you need to do so in a way that will catch your audience’s attention. This means narrowing your focus on the exact market you’re trying to reach.
Trying to appeal to too many customers can cause your messaging to fall flat. Instead of standing out from your competition, your brand is forgotten.
Identify who your target audience includes, as well as who the audiences of your competitors may be. Knowing who your competitors are trying to connect with can also help you differentiate yourself, as you might appeal to different demographics.
4. Prioritize the strengths your audience needs most.
The final step in positioning yourself against growing competition is to take a look at how your strongest areas relate to your audience’s needs. By finding the overlap in what you do well and what your target audience needs most, you can position your business in a meaningful way.
You’ll also need to use competitor information to find your niche. What areas are they leaving open that you can fill? What benefits are they unable to bring your target audience that you could provide?
Identify the unique areas where you can excel with your target audience. This should be your new position in the market.
It’s not enough to just claim you’re the best. While you may be great at what you do, unsubstantiated claims that you’re just better than your competitors probably won’t get you far.
Your position in the market compared to the growing competition is likely to change every now and then. It’s important to consistently reevaluate who your competitors are, what they provide and what your target audience is looking for.
By evaluating what you’re able to provide in relation to what your competitors are able to provide, you can refine your messaging to find a truly unique position that helps your company stand out.