Skip to content

How To Make Your Business Stand Out From Your Competitors

lots of people cut outs making up an audience

How To Make Your Business Stand Out From Your Competitors

Mar 24, 2023

In this blog we will discuss why analysing your competitors can actually be the key to making your own business stand out, and discussing some of the best practices to prevent your business from being lost in the crowd.

Lost In The Crowd?

First and foremost, some perspective. As of 2022, there are approximately 5.5 MILLION businesses operating within the UK private sector. So, unless your business is selling genuine, live, three headed unicorns the chances are you will have competition within your industry.

For every Mcdonalds there is a Burger King, and for every Apple there’s a Samsung… It’s almost poetic.

These brands have been so successful within their respective fields that it even causes tense, on-going debates between the opposite sides of the customer base as to which is truly superior. That is customer loyalty personified.

However, business giants aren’t the only ones dealing with a saturated market place, the same applies to small businesses too, in fact, it can be far more difficult for a smaller business to navigate through and carve out its own place in an ever more crowded business landscape.

Luckily, small businesses today have access to a near infinite online market space to turn to, a luxury that wasn’t enjoyed by their predecessors.

Despite the digital marketplace being arguably even more congested, the platform and potential reach that it offers, when correctly utilised, is truly invaluable and actually offers us greater means to assess competitors.

Is Competition A Bad Thing?

Quite simply, it depends on how you manage it.

With proper analysis, you can actually use your competition as a measure of your own business, look at what they are doing well, or not so well and use this contrast to help you create your own unique identity.

For example, if your biggest competitor often gets mediocre or poor customer service reviews, strive for your business to master excellent customer service, a more personal service, setting yourself apart, despite having the same or similar product offerings.

It’s all about knowing your business’ niche and playing to your strengths. 

On the other hand, if your marketing efforts aren’t properly aligned to your target audience, supported by strong branding and don’t communicate how your business can positively impact customers, it can be easy to fade into the shadow of your competitors.

This is especially the case if your small business is trying to compete against corporate heavyweights, which isn’t necessarily impossible, but it will take some seriously well thought out strategy and creativity to differentiate yourself to a meaningful level.

Top Tips For Analysing Competitors

Knowing your competition is essential. It may sound ruthless, but in order to achieve success and cement yourself within your industry, you will essentially need to recognise any perceived weaknesses and use them as a foothold for your own business.

So, how exactly do we size up our competition?

Starting with the obvious, we need to identify them and figure out whether they are direct, or indirect competitors.

  • Direct Competitors = Businesses with similar products & services that are also targeting the same audience as us. (e.g – Coke & Pepsi)
  • Indirect Competitors = A business that sells different products or services to ours, but is targeting the same audience. (e.g – Mcdonalds & Domino’s)  

Once this is established, the real analysis can begin, your first priority is to focus on the direct competition.

To build a solid competitor profile, you should ideally learn the following – 

  • Background research – The more you can find out the better (keeping it professional of course). Starting with the basics, where are they based? What are their product and service offerings?
  • Who are their customers? – Establish who their current most loyal and high spending customers are, what channels are they using to reach this audience and where is the most frequent connection point.
  • Explore their brand – What tone of voice do they use? Does their branding successfully convey their ethos? How do customers perceive them?
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses – Is their pricing fair? Do they have an efficient order and delivery process? Do they keep up with the latest market trends? 

By answering these questions, you will be able to identify areas of your own business that may need improving. This will also serve as an inspiration opportunity, what aren’t they doing? What don’t they offer?

Which leads us nicely onto our next point.

Prominence = Dominance

As we spoke about in our last blog ‘What is Branding’, the importance of establishing a consistent and trustworthy brand identity simply can’t be stressed enough, it is your branding after all that potential customers will become familiar with. 

Making your business stand out from the crowd can seem a daunting task, most of the time though gaining recognition and establishing yourself within an industry boils down to the small details.

We’re not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel here, simply by adding unique elements to the way your business operates and in particular interacts with customers goes a long way to gaining prominence, find your selling point and stand by it.

Being a small business also offers opportunities in terms of providing a more personal experience for your customers, putting them at the heart of everything you do and offering dynamic tailored solutions to their needs.

Communicate Vision And Culture

By utilising social media, you can convey company culture, values and give an intimate insight into the day to day happenings of your business, this makes you more credible and trustworthy to your audience.

With creative, thought provoking, innovative content you can appeal to a wider range of clientele, this can include vlogs, podcasts or regular articles. In today’s age of social media, many small companies have reaped the benefits of successful social media campaigns and become overnight success stories, by either creating viral content or through the support of influencers.  

Having people liking, sharing and most importantly talking about your content directs them to your business and that sort of word of mouth marketing is a genuine game changer for a business.

In Summary

Whilst we have established the importance of understanding your competitors and finding holes in their game, it is worth remembering, especially in the case of new or smaller businesses that knocking a giant from the top spot isn’t going to happen overnight, if at all.

The point in assessing your competitors in the space is not to pit your business against theirs, it is there to allow us to improve ourselves, to understand the space and become an identifiable industry leader in our own right by sticking to our own principles.

As I said at the start “For every Mcdonalds there is a Burger King, and for every Apple there’s a Samsung”. Yes they are in competition in their respective fields but the fact is by establishing their own unique identities they have all become business behemoths in their own right. 

Competition means that customers have a choice, it prevents monopolisation of the market and overall a healthy level of competition for the spotlight ensures that businesses are never complacent and always strive to be better, which is a win win for everyone.