Defining your point of difference

A key element in marketing any business is to determine the point of difference. Obviously the goods or services that you provide are hugely important when defining your target audience and marketing activities, but part of your marketing message should always include your point of difference. What makes you different from the guy next to you? Why should someone choose you over your competitors?

Assessing your business from this standpoint can be done in a few steps:

  1. Take a look at your competition, what are their strengths and weaknesses? This is not a comparison, or a copycat method, it’s simply putting yourself in the shoes of a customer and looking at each competitor in the marketplace and what are their good and bad attributes.
  2. Next, turn this onto your own business – when someone has dealings with your company, what would you assess to be your best points and what could use some improvement?
  3. From your list of strengths, what really stands out? What makes your list look better than the lists for the other businesses you reviewed? That’s your point of difference.

When performing this exercise, get detailed – putting something like “customer service” is way too broad. What is it about your customer service that is notable? Are your staff really good at remembering client’s previous orders? Do you have some great internal systems in place that ensure you’re checking in regularly with customers for a particular service, as a friendly reminder? Really pick out the detail of what your point of difference is made up of.

Successfully marketing your point of difference can be communicated through images used in advertising, text and content, and a unique concept produced. The more detail you have, the more on target your messages will be. You want customers to be able to watch a TV ad or stalk your Facebook page or read your corporate profile and come away with what your strongest points are and why they should be choosing you.