Written by Sean McPheat |
Today’s world is merciless if you don’t match your competitive offers and design quality. The business road is littered with companies who have failed in their attempts to launch or develop product or service offerings that fell short of the competitions.
How can you differential effectively against your competition? What can make you stand head and shoulders above them so your customers take notice? Here are some ideas:
1) Select the ‘value area’ you wish to compete with. This could be price, guarantees, warranties, quality, back up services, or other things that can be compared.
2) Choose the areas where you help customers to succeed. This could be in cost savings, time savings, improvement in performance or productivity, or areas that are really important for your customers to improve.
3) On a scale of one to ten, score your ‘value areas’ in terms of how beneficial they are to your customers. No doubt there will be competitors who are cheaper than you in many areas, so build up a quantifiable base line that helps you to measure how you perform in those areas that will outweigh the lower prices of the competition.
4) On the same scaling (1-10), detail your competition’s value propositions so you can compare yours versus theirs. This requires you to know a lot of detail about your competition and this needs time and adequate research to ascertain the areas your competition will be highlighting with your prospect base.
5) Now determine how your ‘value-creators’ compare to the competition’s offerings. Add a weighting, if necessary, to the areas that are most important to the customer base. For example, if the need for quality is far more important than getting a low price, then determine how your quality compares with the competition in the specific areas that will impress the customers and their business needs.
6) After these comparisons, analyse how you have performed against the main competitors in those specific areas where the choices will be made. Design questions that help you see how you differentiate against your competitors with your value proposition.
Remember, this will only work if the factors you compare with are aligned against the main objectives and goals against which your customer base measures success. Simply saying you should reduce prices to match competitors when the main criteria your customers are judging your products against is quality or warranties, is simply missing the whole point of differentials.
You should ideally identify what is the most important pains or gains that your company assists your client base to overcome or build on. That way, you’re talking your customers’ language and stand a better chance of beating the competition.
Originally published: 13 November, 2014