They say on average the reach of human knowledge is doubling every 2 years. Technology is advancing so fast that it’s changing the competitive landscape of the business world at an unprecedented rate. Individuals are more powerful and aggressive companies can scale into global forces seemingly overnight. Large incumbents are forced to innovate or die so they plunge more funds into R&D and acquire other companies just to stay relevant. But with all of this innovative moving and shaking, the business world has become a very loud place and can be hostile to unprepared newcomers.
When it comes to marketing your product, service or company, your market position is one of the most crucial factors, which separates you from your competitors and makes you stand out in the crowd. However, the irony is that most of the companies and business professionals ignore this fact, since positioning isn’t as quantitative as the number of Twitter Followers or Facebook Fans.
In fact, I have noticed that most of the companies first build their product line or services, and then focus on the marketing aspect. However, in order to succeed and gain better results, it is crucial to engineer and design the product’s position into the product itself, rather than adding it at a later phase.
The bottom line is that if you are targeting an industry that already has big name players then you must focus on the position of your company to gain traction. These methods will help you to strategically position your product, service or solution in a crowded and competitive market:
Be Selective When Choosing Your Audience
Due to powerful and popular tools like Constant Contact, Mailchimp & SendGrid, the list of new management and email marketing services has become very long in the last 5 years. Customers about to start an email marketing strategy, one can choose from dozens hundreds of similar tools that are available at varying price points all over the internet.
If we talk about companies like Hubspot, Marketo and Infusionsoft that offer marketing automation software solutions, there are literally thousands of such big name companies to choose from and the list is growing everyday.
However, despite such a big competition and an over-saturated market, Kapost was successful at creating its own solution. Kapost founder Toby Murdock first targeted the media industry by understanding what features most of the large publishing platforms and smaller media companies look for in a marketing software. Then along with his team removed the unnecessary features from and stressed more on the Content and Dissemination, the two key competencies.
This approach is quite simple; if the competitors are catering to an entire market or a specific segment of an industry, you can always craft your own product line or a solution that’s perfect for another niche, which the competitors are ignoring.
Tell A Unique Story
Another method to position your business is by telling an exceptional story that’s not only fascinating, but can inspire others. Personally speaking, I like the story of TOMS Shoes, an shoe manufacturer that donates one free pair of shoes to an impoverished child for every pair that it sells.
Although it’s not always possible for every company to give away free product or introduce a revolutionary business model, still if a shoe company can do it, so can you.
Most of your competitors might be telling the same old story of how innovative they are or how cheap their products or services are in respect to the competition. However, in order to have an edge over your competitors, you need to share a different or unique story that has never been heard of before. Most of all, don’t just say it, show it.
Deliver A Better User Experience
In Spain, there has been no shortage of startups focused on the “Classifieds” section. During the economic crisis, secondhand online markets have become extremely popular with notable names such as Renuevo, Chicfy, Smartused, there’s even one called Segunda Mano. Some of these companies are well-funded and well-entrenched in the e-commerce space.
But one of the most popular products to hit the Spanish market last year was a startup called Wallapop – a mobile-first marketplace to sell your pre-owned goods.
The Wallapop user interface is extremely simple to navigate and when you download the app for the first time, it’s instantly understandable. There are no confusing menus or distracting banner adds, just a simple, visual shopping experience.
Usually when a product or solution has too many unnecessary or unrelated features, it becomes quite hard for the user to quickly understand it, or operate it in an efficient manner. Since you only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression, always make sure that your service or product is intuitive, user-friendly and adept at doing the 1 or 2 things that matters the most.
If you focus on making your customers’ lives easier and not trying to trick them or sell every open section of the screen to advertisers, you will be rewarded with a high repetition rate and more customer loyalty.
In the end, if you plan on entering a crowded market with several powerful competitors, it is absolutely critical to position yourself effectively to reach any level of success. Whether it is a new niche market the competitors are forgetting or simply providing a superior user experience, make sure you have that unique competitive edge, or you’ll end up as white noise, forgotten about in a crowded, competitive landscape.