How to Differentiate Your Business From Your Competitors

By December 23, 2020 May 31st, 2023 Sales & Marketing Advice

Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors? First, companies must create a defensible moat around their business that portrays them as unique and exciting to their prospects.

This “unique selling proposition” is always different and is much more critical for your business’s longevity than simply offering competitive prices. 

Most small businesses try to copy their competitors instead of finding an underexploited place in the market and defending their turf. This is a big mistake. A sign reads "stand out from the crowd" and support the concept of differentiating your business from competitors

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

So how do you differentiate your business from your competitors? 

The unique selling proposition (USP) is what differentiates you from other existing businesses in your field. It could be different technology, superior service, a more accessible interface, greater specialization, exclusive memberships or clubs, added value compared to competitors, location, culture, delivery speed, greater expertise, more accessible access, or various other things. 

Whatever USP you focus on, your business needs one to survive. In their book, Differentiate or Die, Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin discuss the importance of differentiating yourself from the competition. Trout has been a consultant to Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years, so he knows what makes a business successful. 

I believe this book can be helpful to any business owner struggling to identify and capitalize on their USP, as Trout and Rivkin lay out 4 steps to differentiation. They are:

  1. Make sense in context. Know your market and competitors’ offerings so your USP will fit your niche. 
  2. Find the differentiating idea. What makes your product different from what’s already out there? 
  3. Have credentials. You need to be able to demonstrate your USP. Making unsubstantiated claims will reduce your credibility. 
  4. Communicate your difference. Your USP should be a massive aspect of your marketing strategy. If no one knows what sets you apart from the competition? 

Trout also teamed up with Al Ries to write The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, a book designed to help business owners re-evaluate their marketing practices. I’ve written a blog post about my favorite takeaways from that book, but it feels vital to touch on a few. 

For instance, the Law of the Mind: “It’s better to be first in the mind than in the marketplace.” So how do you differentiate your business from your competitors? By standing out in your customer’s mind. It doesn’t matter if your company is late to the game as long as you’re unique enough to be remembered. 

Also essential: is the Law of Perception: “Marketing is not a battle of products; it’s a battle of perceptions.” The quality and price of the product itself matter much less than the idea of the product that your customer takes away. 

Differentiating your business from the competitive “wannabes” is essential to your firm’s long-term viability and profitability. So how do you differentiate your business from your competitors? Please fill out my contact form, and let’s strategize on building a defensible moat around your company. 

Coach Dave


Dave Schoenbeck
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