How Can I Differentiate myself or my business? What is my Value Proposition?
This information is for small business owners or entrepreneurs that are attempting to launch one or two products into the local market. It may be importing something from Europe, or bringing an European concept to life in Vancouver or just introducing a new product or service to the market. A larger company will have an entire marketing department at their disposal, while a smaller company may have to either do it themselves or hire a consultant to help out on a temporary basis. Companies from Austria, Germany & Switzerland who are importing everything from cheese to chocolate need to know the benefits for the consumer, since higher quality and the longer distance often translates into higher prices.
1. The main question is what makes you different from your competitors and what are you doing to increase your value proposition – are you more customer service oriented? This is one of the things that will keep customers coming back to you. Are you flexible in your approach? Have you figured out a new way to get a particular product cheaper, faster, better etc.? Are you the only place in town where someone can get this product? What if they order it, but they aren’t happy? How are you packing this product? Will you be able to recycle this product when it has finished its lifecycle?
2. Another good question is how can you gain competitive advantage through your position in the market? Will you focus on a broad appeal strategy that would suit almost everyone, or a targeted marking strategy for specific consumers like women or the wealthy, or will you position it as a very specific niche market that almost no one reaches exactly? Like teens who live in West Vancouver and dig fashion?
3. How will you prove to your potential customers that they should pay more since your brand, product or service is of a higher value than all of the other hundreds of products or services. Increasing “mind share” (position), as well as market share (sales). You can focus on the increase in prestige, the ease of use, the convenience and the safety they will receive, or you can focus on the service reliability, the social responsibility and the product quality that you are offering. Consumers have all kinds of reasons for buying things and you need to know what makes people buy what you have.
4. You also need to spend some time on the obstacles people will face buying your products. They may find them too costly to buy, too challenging to store, too costly to maintain or just have a plain fear of being ripped off. Your website should have solutions to these problems in a way that minimizes the risk that buyers feel they face when become your customers.
5. You should also try to differentiate yourself by offering something free. How to’s that relate to your product. Or a tip sheet that they can use or a step by step instruction page on something related to your product. Even a short e-book may be popular.
In conclusion, whether you are selling Christmas Stars, tea, chocolate, Bratwurst or Wine/Beer, you need to let the public know why your products has more value than any others. How to communicate this value is, of course, the topic of another blog post.
Stay tuned for the next bit of wisdom from Westcoast German News.
Value for visitors = successful sales.
About the Author
Elke is a connector, a promoter, a writer and a blogger who loves to build community, attend events and network with other entrepreneurs. Whether you need help with advertising, public relations, social media or communications, she is there for her clients.