SCORE

Whatever you’re selling, there are a number of people who currently don’t use it. To grow your business, you have to make them leave something they have been comfortable with and switch to you. They won’t make that change if they see no significant difference between your brand and your competitor’s. Find the key to differentiation and you’ll find the key to growth. Here are a couple of ideas.

How did your product happen? Many innovations result from a creative individual trying to develop a tool for a task for which there is no tool. Is the key to your brand a product that came into being because I filled a need? Tout the need. Tell people what problem you solved. The dynamics of one key product, properly promoted, can carry an entire line, even an entire business.

What problem do you address? Is your product easier to use? Does it work more quickly? Is it less costly to operate? Quieter? Does it reach places other products can’t? Establish its differentiator. Make sure that people understand what makes your brand superior.

Does your product address a problem in a new and innovative manner? A good example would be the first riding lawn-mower. It completely changed how people cared for their lawns. Suddenly the elderly and the less than athletic could care for even large lawns on their own. But consider this: what if the first manufacturer in that business had simply continued to advertise that he made lawn-mowers? He probably increased his market share more quickly with ads that said, “the first mower than let’s you eat an ice cream cone while you work.” If your potential customers don’t know that you offer unique solutions, they are less likely to knock on your door.

Are you in a market where integrity and competence are critical? How do CPAs and lawyers differentiate themselves? Ignore the ambulance chasers. No one looking for an estate lawyer will call a firm that’s trolling for mesothelioma victims. You can differentiate your brand by advertising the sources of your skill and the guarantors of your integrity. That is why so many contractors include in their ads both their license number and a statement that all of their employees are bonded. That’s why General Motors talks about the factory training all mechanics receive. Some CPAs ensure their integrity with promises to pay all fines and penalties that accrue from any error they make. One way in which a business helps to establish its integrity is by being active in the community.

Find the ways in which you can reinforce your brand’s image in the marketplace. You have too many competitors to simply assume business will come in your door.

About the Author(s)

 Jim  Martin

Jim Martin is a skillful writer and publicist whose background was in the semi-conductor and aerospace industries. He worked in both market development and strategic account marketing, and along the way produced materials for product role-outs, brochures, technical manuals, and press releases. Jim also served as editor of a technical magazine in the electronics field. For the past ten years, he...

Writing and Marketing, SCORE SCCS