Is it possible to compete with the business that offers the same service as you, but for a lower price? How come that there are many clothing, drink or car brands? How customers choose between Coke and Pepsi, Nike or Adidas or Audi or VW if in a nutshell, they offer the same product?
If you want to get your product or service out there, you’ll have to deal with the competition. Sometimes you’ll have a product of better quality and sometimes you’ll offer it for a cheaper price. But in the end, you won’t beat them.
Well, because the product is not what it sells. It’s an emotion. If you think of Rolex watches, what is the first thing you think of? Is it a rich lifestyle? Or if you think of Nike clothing brand. Does a picture of an athletic sportsman who accomplished his goals comes to your mind? Every product/service has an inner value and you just need to find it in your brand.
No matter how low the price is, if you can offer your customer a feeling of happiness, confidence, success and luxury, you’ll get him. So a simple answer to this question is:
Form a differentiation strategy.
You need to shift away your focus of sales effort from the “commodity” you’re trying to sell. Focus on what your product delivers to your customers, and make this the focus of your marketing efforts.
So, what is a differentiation strategy and how to create one?
Firstly, define your badge value. Basically it’s why you choose one brand over another. Prada bags and regular bags are made of the same fabric, yet the Prada costs more. There are countless more examples such as watches, clothing or food brands. This is what you need to find in your product or service. Because once you find it, the price of your product will be irrelevant.
The second thing is the question of quality. Your service or product needs to be better than the one of your competition. The quality can be enhanced by adding more features to your product. If it does more than just solves a solution. If it offers an experience or premium service that you cannot find in a similar product in the market. Then your product has potential.
Third thing is customer support. When you sell something to a customer, and he becomes dissatisfied. He’ll have an option to return a product. In a case of service, he’ll give you a negative review. The better your support is, the greater are chances that the customer will purchase a product or service again. This is important!
Fourth thing is coexistence. There is Coke and Pepsi, Burger King and McDonalds. They offer basically the same product with little tweaks, yet they still coexist in the same market. If your competition is focused on a broad niche, you can concentrate on a specific one. Target a local group and you’ll have a great business.
To summarise everything in one word that would be differentiation. If you have a same product as your competitor, then the price will be the only criteria for a customer. But by using differentiation strategy explained above, you’ll be able to distinguish your product or service from others on the market and thus start a successful business.