6 Ways to Make Your Online Business Stand out in a Crowd of Competitors

published Dec 23, 2019
3 min read

Stand out

The postmodern economy depends on competition. In a world where markets are saturated, competition dangles like an aimless sword, ready to behead everyone who fails to understand the market. Then, standing out becomes the only route to survival.

Building a different brand identity is a crucial task because each industry has its market giants. However, it is not impossible. Brands like Heinz, Samsung, IKEA, and Marks & Spencer have proved their worth against the test of time and spread four winds by being the masters of the craft.

Top Brand Index Rankings
Rank Brand 2019 Score
1 John Lewis 41.2
2 IKEA 38.9
3 Marks & Spencer 38.9
4 Heinz 38.7
5 Visa 28.3
6 Samsung 36.3
7 Royal Mail 35.9
8 Boots 35.5
9 Cathedral City 35.4
10 Cadbury 34.9

Source: YouGov Brand Index

These are the big brands with significant earnings, but what about the smaller ventures, you may ask? Well, they can enshroud their brand identity in the tulles and silks of effective differentiation to hold their ground in the fierce competition against the mammoths.

Here are a few proven ways to help your business develop a robust identity that is recognised from the outskirts of town.

1. Understand the Market

Market research is a fundamental step for the inauguration of a successful business. You cannot win over the target audience without knowing the consumer patterns, desires, and aspirations. Let’s take the example of conventional fast food, burgers. Burgers are to millennial food enthusiasts what Spaghetti Bolognese is to baby boomers.

Did you notice the difference in cuisine that attracts the different age cohorts? Had we asked about gendered interest in alcohol, the stereotypical debacle of beers and cosmopolitan cocktails would have ensued. All that we are trying to say is that a comprehensive understanding of consumer demands and behaviours is essential to establish a difference. If all the patisseries started selling the same butter croissants, would not they go out of fashion?

2. Draw Inspiration for Your Niche

According to SmallBizGenius, over 22% of businesses fail within the first year. The number one reason cited for such enormous failure is the lack of a strong market need. If an entrepreneur completes their market research, they will not face defeat. But if things have not followed the path of your expectations, then inspiration can be drawn from other businesses from your industry or even beyond.

When the greatest literary feat by William Shakespeare, Romeo Juliet, was inspired by the works of an ancient Spanish poet, it makes sense that one needs the inspiration to build a strong brand identity.

However, it is critical to stay within the limits of inspiration and not blatantly copy someone else’s hard work.

3. Specialise in Creating Better Experiences

If you study the Fortune 1000 companies over the last four decades, it is evident that a paradigm shift has taken place. According to Rufus Franck, founder of Consultants 500, only a third of today’s companies are expected to remain for the next quarter of the century.

These figures sufficed for the sobriety of the entrepreneur community. If the colossal Fortune 1000 companies are expected to struggle, what will the smaller companies do?

Specialisation is the balm for these conditions. It is a broad concept that has a significant impact on all aspects of a consumer’s life. It is critical to note here that the patterns of consumption have increasingly turned towards customisation in recent years.

Digital Experiences

According to Instapage, 75% of marketers believe that increased personalisation boosts sales. Offering a personalised experience to consumers that follow your brand on social media helps you become a crowd-favourite.

Whether it is a freebie on orders worth thirty pounds or a gift voucher for shopping on St.Patrick’s day, anything could work unless you know how your target audience operates.

4. Establish Authority

Existing as an e-commerce entity is getting tougher by the day. With the plethora of options available for buying loaves of bread, skirts, and even soaps, maintaining the market share becomes overcomplicated. But soaps and clothing items hold much less financial value as compared to long-term commitments like cars and homes.

Can you remain authoritative and relevant to your consumers when you sell a product/service that is not instantaneous? When we buy cars from an online forum, it is crucial to understand their position in the market. Do they have consistent followers on their social media? How do they cater to their customer queries? Do they update often? What are the customers saying about the products?

All of these measures help a business to establish authority over the consumers. Companies can hire reliable Search Engine Optimisation professionals in this regard.

5. Devise an Intelligent Content Strategy

Every business needs a story. A tale that connects the brand to the consumers in a realistic way and urges the potential consumer to avail of the product/service. E-commerce businesses tend to project an image with their products and manipulate the audiences through the nuances of context.

The use of Artificial Intelligence has enabled marketers to predict consumer demands and produce accordingly. The use of subtle imagery through photographic advertisements is a tactic used by many companies on Instagram.

The key here is to remain consistent with the story by creating content that the audience craves. Incorporating social elements into your brand image could work wonders for you. If a beauty company says that they are ethically producing makeup, their chances of a spike in sales are rather apparent. The involvement in environmentally conscious campaigns is a step that is not taken by the majority. So it is a win-win situation for you!

6. Be Naturally Quirky

Doing something out of the box helps companies stand out in the crowd of competitors. Whether you send a Christmas card in June like Laura Clicks from Blue Kite Marketing or decide to send subscription emails in an informal tone with a ton of GIFs, the choice is yours.

The only thing that we want you to remember here is to avoid being blatant. If consumers recognise that you are trying too hard, then they might not like to stay around.

The Takeaway

There are multiple strategies that a company can implement to develop a strong foundation of effective differentiation. The fierce competition of the time needs innovation and creativity derived from the quirkiest of spots.

We hope that this article has helped you identify a beginning point for your marathon to success. Be genuine and be yourself. And voila, you have left the competition far behind!