In our previous post, we discussed the importance of making your small business, especially your small store or retail business, unique in positive and productive ways. In the roughly 15 years since online retail or Ecommerce became a dominant force, and in the decades since “big box” retailers like Walmart and Target began dominating the brick and mortar retail landscape, it has become almost impossible for small retailers to compete on price and sometimes selection and availability.

Differentiate Your Business By Being Unique

Even though these giant retailers are so dominant, they don’t have one hundred percent of the retail market, both online and off, locked down, and not every small retailer has gone out of business. In fact, new small retailers are still popping up, while veteran small retailers are still surviving and often thriving, even with the threat of big box and online competition. So what’s their secret? For many, it simply involves differentiating themselves from the larger retailers in a number of ways. This can include offering personal service, often with an expert knowledge of their products, services, and industry, offering a deep or specialized selection of products, and even a fast, efficient checkout. However, simply being unique isn’t enough. You have to communicate your uniqueness to your target market through your branding, marketing, advertising, and positive word of mouth.

Any Small Business Can Be Unique

No matter what product or service you sell, there is a way to differentiate your small business from your competitors. For some small businesses, it’s relatively easy – they offer a product or service that is very unique or only cater to a very small, select target market. However, even if you sell a very common product or service, there is at least one way you can differentiate your business from your competitors and others in your industry. Do you offer superior customer service, or does your sales team provide expert unique insights and expertise? Do you offer an expanded selection of products, and can you quickly order and deliver just about anything your clients need on short notice? Do you provide delivery services, or expanded hours of operation? Finally, do you simply offer a superior product or service than your competitors? No matter what sets you apart, it is imperative that you either refine or expand that unique aspect of your business or clearly identify and promote it in your branding, advertising, and marketing.

Never Pass Up An Opportunity To Showcase Your Uniqueness

As we previously mentioned, simply being unique in one or more ways is not enough to draw customers to your small business, especially during the holiday shopping season. You must ensure that your target market is aware of what sets your small business apart. Once you identity what makes your business unique, you have to incorporate it into your branding, marketing, and advertising. Your brand’s tagline is the easiest element to update and incorporate into your new message, and you should also consider rebranding in other ways if any of your existing brand elements clash or conflict with your newer message. Finally, it is imperative that you and your employees stay on message when interacting with customers. There are multiple opportunities in your entire interaction with your customer, from the first time they walk through the door until you’ve completed the transaction or the job, to stress your uniqueness. Don’t just assume that your customers will compare and contrast your business with your competitors. Instead, do the comparing and contrasting for them in a respectful and tasteful way and without disparaging a competitor.