What is the point of difference that your business has over its competitors?

What is the point of difference that your business has over its competitors?

Often, when I ask a client that question, they say, ‘it’s the great service we offer or the quality of our work’. My response is, they are common answers and don’t differentiate your business.

So how do we describe our point of difference so it becomes a powerful distinction and a unique selling point and sets us apart from our competition?

Here are 7 tips to help you create your point or points of difference.

1. Define your target market and create an Avatar
Define your best client and create an avatar or a profile. List things like their Age, Postcodes where they reside, their Values, Employment status etc. By defining this person you will stop being all things to all people and focus on the clients that are best for your business. You will probably have a second group of clients (we call your secondary market), but to discover your point of difference, let’s focus on your target market or best client.

2. Become aware of your Competitors
Being aware of your major competitors and their points of difference will ensure you don’t promote the same point of difference they do. You need to create a point of difference that is unique and different to others.

3. Solve a problem 
List the common problems or frustrations your clients have and write down how you solve them. Often the solutions can become a point of difference that you will promote to clients. FedEx (a courier delivery service) were aware that their customers were not receiving packages fast enough so they guaranteed packages would reach their destinations overnight and created a ground breaking point of difference.

4. What do your clients love about your business? 
I am sure you have clients that have expressed how they love your service. You can work with the points they make and turn one of them into a point of difference. An example might be that they loved the daily uploading of images and job progress information accessed by your company app on their phone.

5. Be known as the expert in your field 
Build a reputation as the expert in your industry through your blog posts, books, videos, training, social media and other information products. People who have a problem to solve will want to work with the experts.

6. Create Niche
Look at any industry and you will find someone who has created a niche or an area where they specialise.
Differentiate your business by providing a service for a specific customer niche or providing an additional unique service. A good example is Balcony Gardens which is a business that provides a collection of handcrafted pot and planters from around the globe. The name also targeted the many apartment owners with balconies as well as home owners.

7. Be Innovative
Innovation means coming up with new ways of doing things in your business. New ways of improving its processes, introducing new and improved products, services and marketing. Innovation will increase efficiency and profits and ultimately provide points of difference.

An Example of a business that has created points of difference:





Messina Gelato (setting themselves apart from their competitors)

Messina is a retail gelato shop that has set the benchmark for the best gelato product and buying experience in the country. Before the owners opened their first shop they researched the market and found that the best gelato stores had a simple yet bland fitout and although the gelato was good, it wasn’t great. The Messina owners wanted to create a superior product and make the whole experience of buying gelato very memorable. And that is what they created!

They created several points of difference. 
1. They make gelato from the highest quality ingredients.
2. They use raw materials and make everything from scratch.
3. Their flavours are highly creative (flavours expected in a world class restaurant).
4. They own a dairy farm in country Victoria that supplies super creamy jersey milk for their gelato.
5. They play cool music and have a funky shop fitout that appeals to everyone (young and old). All of these points of difference contribute to making Messina a phenomenal success.

As you can see developing a unique and distinct point of difference takes some thought, but once it is defined, you and your business will stand apart.

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