Small Business Marketing Series | Being Unique

Small Business Marketing Series | Being Unique

promoting your uniquenessNothing can help your small business marketing more than understanding why your business is unique and telling everyone!  Fold your uniqueness into everything: your brand, your value proposition, and your messaging. Never ever miss an opportunity to sell prospects on what makes you unique.

Why It’s Important To Your Small Business Marketing

So many businesspeople are so busy running the company, that they forget what makes them special (and, more importantly, they forget to tell people). The market is crowded.  To prospects, companies can seem very similar, their offerings quite the same.

But prospects always want the best for their money.  They want to know which supplier is the better choice.  You need to tell them.

Finding Differentiation

Small business marketing: differentiation, but not the marketing kind

Not this kind of differentiation! The marketing kind.

It’s amazing how often clients tell us that there really isn’t differentiation in their market.  But there almost always is.

Few markets truly lack differentiation between suppliers.  If the only difference between you and your competitors is price and delivery, then you are selling a commodity.  And, there’s still differentiation you can find.

Most often the problem comes from not really understanding what’s important to prospects in your market.  In other words, you don’t know your prospects well enough!  Shame on you!

Knowing Who Your Prospects Are

A key to small business marketing is understanding your prospects.  And, for most markets, there isn’t one single demographic of prospects. Through developing and documenting buyer personas, you learn your market and what’s important to it.  Following are two great resources to help.

LEARN MORE: How To Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business

LEARN MORE: How To Use Buyer Personas…

The time you invest in learning the market and creating the buyer personas will help throughout your marketing efforts.

Small business marketing: a bus stop might be huge to prospectsThe ‘Who Cares?’ Test

Once you know your buyers, you can validate your points of differentiation.  Pretty fancy words for finding out if anyone gives a rip.

But that’s critical: before you take all the trouble of integrating your uniqueness throughout your messaging, you’ve got to figure out if it matters to your prospects or not.  Here’s an example.

Your store has a transit stop right out front with frequent service.  If a key prospect demographic is inner city millennials, you probably have something there.  If you mainly serve suburban professionals, look for something else.

So many people go right to price when they look at differentiation.  We’d encourage you to look at things like:

  • quality—warranty, materials, inspections1st place ribbon
  • reputation—awards, certifications, reviews
  • performance—speed, weight, accuracy
  • source—“made in the USA”, organic, recycled, cage-free
  • service—turnaround time, loaner, “we come to you”
  • access—parking, transit, “1 block off the Santa Monica freeway”

Remember, since you likely serve different demographic groups, not everything that makes your business unique will matter to every prospect. But you might only need one!

Integrating Your Uniqueness

Once you know what’s important to your prospects, you have to weave that throughout your messaging and brand so that they know!  The market is so crowded—you never want to miss an opportunity to differentiate your company.

The start-to-finish process of integrating differentiation into your message is well beyond the scope of this blog, but here are some areas (beyond the obvious: your promotional materials) to look at:

  • elevator pitch
  • logo, trade dress, signage
  • slogans and taglines
  • proposals and quotations

And here are some resources to help:

LEARN MORE: Understanding Your Value Proposition

LEARN MORE: Introduction to Brand Strategy: 7 Essentials for a Strong Company Brand

Small business marketing: being unique is importantSelling Unique

Prospects really do want to know what is different about doing business with one company as compared to another. And we need to tell them!

Businesses aren’t shy about advertising a sale, a new product or service, opening of a new location. But every business does that.

When you actually promote what makes your business unique, you have the best chance of getting your message heard through all that promotional noise.

Remember, you know that what makes you different is important to your prospects.