How to Stand Out from the Competition 

Module 4

Getting a Leg Up on Competitors
Part 1

The most important aspect of your Unique Value Proposition is that it is exactly that: unique.
The only way to offer something unique is to know what your competitors are offering
and make sure you provide something different and more attractive.

Improving Your Investigative Prowess

A necessary part of writing your UVP is to research the competition, which is done best from an objective point of view. There are two parts to spying on the competition. The first part is to look at the actual services and marketing of your competition, which we’ll dive into in this module. The second part is to analyze the client relationships your competition has, which will be discussed further in part two in the next module.

You’ll be using the information you gather here in modules 4-5 to create a “report card” of sorts or your competitor that shows where they excel and where they fall short. Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and compare.

Your practice’s natural strengths – the areas where you excel without necessarily trying – offer the best starting point for creating your UVP. For example, if you’re naturally faster at what you do than the competition, this is a good point to emphasize.

Remember as you do your research to try and be as objective as possible without bias. If you were the client, what would you be looking for? Where would you look for these services? Is your competition occupying spaces where you would look for them? Are they mostly online? What are their physical marketing efforts? Are clients responding positively or negatively? How would you do it differently, or better?

Researching Services

The best way to understand your competition is to spend time researching your competitors’ services as if you were going to use them yourself. In particular, look at how they meet (or don’t meet) the needs of your clients. It also helps to understand how your clientele feels about your competitors’ services, so keep your eyes and ears out for any mentions of them. Make a phone call to inquire about services and ask questions. Find them online through their website and social media accounts. What are they doing and saying? How are clients responding?

A good way to compare services is to create a simple service comparison table that lists features in a way that shows their differences. These service comparisons are typically done by a company’s service manager, but for even better results, you can get your clients or members of your target market involved. This yields more accurate and objective information on your clients’ preferences.

Study Their Marketing

Gather your competitors’ marketing materials and study them. Look at which benefits they are emphasizing to their customers. Make sure you pay attention to the specific language and communication methods your competitors use to relate to their customers. Is it more casual or more formal? Do they focus more on visuals or audio materials?

Take a look at the channels your competitors use for marketing also, since that’s where your customers are. What different marketing methods are your competitors using in each channel? You’re going to try to do something different with your message, so you need to have a very clear understanding of what your competitors are already saying. The last thing you want to be is a copycat.

And don’t forget to look at the keywords your competitors are targeting since that will show you exactly which search terms you might have to compete for, or which ones you want to avoid.

Researching Services

The best way to understand your competition is to spend time researching your competitors’ services as if you were going to use them yourself. In particular, look at how they meet (or don’t meet) the needs of your clients. It also helps to understand how your clientele feels about your competitors’ services, so keep your eyes and ears out for any mentions of them. Make a phone call to inquire about services and ask questions. Find them online through their website and social media accounts. What are they doing and saying? How are clients responding?

A good way to compare services is to create a simple service comparison table that lists features in a way that shows their differences. These service comparisons are typically done by a company’s service manager, but for even better results, you can get your clients or members of your target market involved. This yields more accurate and objective information on your clients’ preferences.

Study Their Marketing

Gather your competitors’ marketing materials and study them. Look at which benefits they are emphasizing to their customers. Make sure you pay attention to the specific language and communication methods your competitors use to relate to their customers. Is it more casual or more formal? Do they focus more on visuals or audio materials?

Take a look at the channels your competitors use for marketing also, since that’s where your customers are. What different marketing methods are your competitors using in each channel? You’re going to try to do something different with your message, so you need to have a very clear understanding of what your competitors are already saying. The last thing you want to be is a copycat.

And don’t forget to look at the keywords your competitors are targeting since that will show you exactly which search terms you might have to compete for, or which ones you want to avoid.

Getting Started - Action Steps for Your Next Coffee Break

You’ve taken lots of notes throughout this module, which will serve you very well! Armed with all of this information about your ideal clients, you’ll have an edge over the competition. It’ll be easy to see what mistakes they are making and how they are not delivering. You and your company can then fill in the gaps and give your market exactly what they want.

Assignment:

  1. Create a simple service comparison table that lists features in a way that shows their differences. 
  2. Rank each service on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 for each feature. This gives you a better idea of how they compare to each other. Don’t forget to include other characteristics in addition to features such as price, customer support, integrations, and anything else that might affect the customer experience.
  3. Ask friends or others in your target market to help you with your reconnaissance. Give them specifics to look for and ask them to rank services.
  4. Make a list of all the ways your competition markets their services. Is it mostly text online? Audio? Visual? 
  5. Write down specific vocabulary your competition is using in their marketing efforts. Do they have a catch line? Do they use specific terms? Note the verbiage used so when it’s time to market your own UVP, you can use wording unique to you.

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the resource below!

When you are ready to really dig into everything, there is a plethora of resources available. But just like with any advice, keep an eye out for the elements you’re learning in this course and how to best implement them.

We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional practices like yours.

Deeper Dive Recommendations:

As you read through the resources below, take note of the various ways to find demographic and psychographic information on your ideal clientele.

Why a Competitive Analysis Should Lead to a Unique Value Proposition

Taking a close look at your competition — including imagery used on their website, how they message to their target demographic, and amenities and property features offered and promoted — will give you crucial insight into how your property measures up to others around it.

Want to Stand Out From the Crowd? Know Your Unique Value Proposition.

This post gives a few tips for identifying your UVP and for standing out in a competitive market. Although it comes from a software as a service (SaaS) point of view, it still gives helpful information for researching the competition.

 

Explore All of Our Programs and Courses

Duis egestas aliquet aliquet. Maecenas erat eros, fringilla et leo eget, viverra pretium nulla. Quisque sed augue tincidunt, posuere dui tempor.

Join the Power Practice Network

Duis egestas aliquet aliquet. Maecenas erat eros, fringilla et leo eget, viverra pretium nulla. Quisque sed augue tincidunt, posuere dui tempor.