Think Outside the Box For Marketing Success

daretobediffPeople often ask me what my number one tip for small businesses is and that is:

DIFFERENTIATE your company in every way

Some of you might ask “why?  Things are going well for me right now.  If it ain’t broke….”  Well, my answer to that is the same as the one many of the experts on Small Business Daily will offer:  if you don’t work to differentiate your business it will stall.  You will stop growing and your marketing programs will become stale.  Eventually, you will be out of business.

It’s a harsh truth and while I’ll leave the business planning aspects to Clayton and Michael, I do want to discuss what happens to your marketing if you don’t differentiate:  Nothing, zip, nada.  You might as well throw money down the toilet.

Marketing your business is the most crucial element to business success and one that requires endurance and stamina.  If you don’t realize that right up front you aren’t going to get anywhere because, well, it takes a llllloooonnnngggg time to build brand recognition with customers and the industry.

The power of differentiating your business from competitors, creating new trends and becoming an industry leader is that it gives you stories to tell, whether that’s with public relations, advertising or social media.  If you’re like everyone else why does it matter where customers go?  Eventually they’ll waste a lot of time, money and energy finding what business is trustworthy and beneficial on their own, but by communicating your unique offerings upfront you can cut to the chase for them….straight in your door.

Remember:  What you say about your business is as important as where you say it

Think about it this way, a journalist is not interested in writing the same story over and over again.  They want new angles, new trends and new innovative businesses.  So, if you want to generate PR for your business you have to make sure you have a fresh, new story to tell.

I say it over and over, but the beauty of small businesses it their ability to be flexible, creative and innovative.  You can’t stop with one version of your product.  You have to keep adding to it, making it stronger, better.  Customers are looking, especially right now, for the biggest bang for their buck.   You need to continue thinking ahead to expansion – new product development, business relationships/partnerships and increased marketing.

To make your business grow:

  1. review your business model and differentiate against competitors, meet the standards of technology people expect
  2. you have to communicate what you’re doing,
  3. make it relevant
  4. grow product and service offerings
  5. be dilligent
  6. always be thinking ahead of your competition and industry
  7. work everyday to meet and predict the needs of customers

There’s a reason why companies that bank on a single product idea eventually fail.  The company stops being relevant when they fail to grow and differentiate.  See business development and marketing go hand-in-hand in helping entrepreneurs like you achieve success.

I want to hear from you:  What are you doing to differentiate your business?  What unique ideas have you created to stand out in the crowd?

Jennifer Fortney, Cascade Communications and SmallBizPRMadeEasy.com; Twitter @SmallBizPRXpert

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