Standing out from the crowd is vital to business success. Yet very few businesses are in the enviable position of providing such a unique product or service that they have no competitors. Most of us must compete with others in our field who provide a very similar offering, differentiated only by price, features, location or quality of service, if that. So what makes your product or service stand out?
As a marketer, it’s easy to make lots of noise and generate press coverage for a genuinely unique product or service that is bursting with innovative features and unparalleled customer benefits. But such cases are rare. It’s far more likely to be the case that the business offers what’s known as ‘me too’ products or services. In other words, an adaptation of an already established product or service that may (or may not) do the job slightly better. These are typically launched by competitors in the battle for market share, a well-known example being the ongoing fight for dominance between Apple and Android phones.
I’ll be honest, making a customer’s shiny new product or service stand out in a crowded marketplace when it doesn’t have any distinguishing characteristics can present a particular challenge to the copywriter. Indeed, it is one I have faced myself many times over the past twenty or so years.
How to differentiate your business and stand out
At the risk of giving away trade secrets, I successfully meet this challenge by taking one of two approaches:
- Focusing on a unique selling point (or USP), however small it may appear to be, and emphasising its importance. This was my strategy when writing the corporate website for an admirable firm of property developers quite unlike any other I’d ever worked for with their ethos of ‘Principled development, profitably’.
- Working closely with the website or graphic designer to create a brand image that positions the product or service as superior where there is no obvious USP. An example of this is a website I wrote for an architectural practice in North London. The services it offers are fairly standard and probably provided by the majority of architecture firms throughout the UK. However, what sets it apart is the company’s meticulous attention to detail and designs that reflect how the space will ultimately be used. I was briefed by the web designer to keep wording to a minimum as the clean, simple website design would be heavily visual and picture-led. The result is a striking website that projects a high end, contemporary image.
From websites to features and company magazines, as a professional copywriter, before I write a word I first listen to understand the customer’s business. I find my sales and marketing background extremely helpful when it comes to digging deep to find out just what makes my customer’s proposition special and do it justice. If you’d like to discuss how I can help you, please get in touch!