I don’t need to know the type of business you’re in to know that you’re probably in a saturated market. Almost all businesses are. Before you get too stressed out, you should view this competition as a good thing! As we talked about in this article, having competition only confirms that there’s a market need for your product and people are willing to pay for it. When you study your competition, you have a chance to really see what your brand’s up against and find out what you can offer to make yourself stand out. But sometimes studying your competition just isn’t enough. Perhaps your competition is doing really well in one area and you’re not sure how you can compete. Or maybe what you offer is completely different and people are hesitant to see it as something they need. Your product might just be too similar to your competition, causing your potential customers to freeze up when it’s time to decide which brand to choose. It may be a combination of all three of these issues, plus several more. But it makes no difference. Today’s article is going to help you out. Whether you have one or two direct competitors—or several dozen—we’ll be diving into how to make your product catch the eyes of your consumers even in a saturated market.
Don’t Focus on the Features Before you can really tackle the task of setting your brand apart, you need to uncover what value(s) you bring to the table for your customer. Now, the old way of thinking was that value translated into how much you could save your customer, or how much you could give them in the form of extra goodies or features. This route reminds me of your typical TV infomercial—and it’s one you should stop taking altogether. You don’t need to compete on price. If you do, you’ll only attract bargain shoppers who won’t stick around if you need to raise your prices, which you will need to do at some point. And if you’re competing on features, all it takes is one more new addition for you to be one-upped by your competition and left in the dust. This creates an ongoing cycle that’s not worth your time. Can you see why these routes are not so effective anymore? Unfortunately, many brands (and sales people) still believe that features and price are the only two selling points that customers focus on. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Features are nice and all, but they’re easily forgettable in the grand scheme of things. And customers are usually okay with paying a little bit more if they can see the value in the product. What really matters is how this product is going to make your customer’s life easier or better in some way. Customers literally need to know: What can this product do for me? And the sooner you can identify this (the value your product brings) and convey it to your customers, the better. So your first step is to look at your customer testimonials to uncover the real value behind your product through your customer’s eyes.
Capture Customer Testimonials Regularly If you’re not already doing so, you need to collect testimonials regularly from your top customers. These little nuggets of gold offer key insights into what your customers really value the most about your product or service and how it’s making their life or job easier. You may be surprised to learn that the features you believed to be the most important may not always be a top priority for your customers. This is why this method is so effective.
You’ll also have this information in the exact language your customers use, which means you can communicate the same way to other customers, making your brand even more relatable.
Stand Out in a Saturated Market Using Stories Once you’ve gathered your intel on how your product brings value to your current customers, you’ll need to communicate this to your potential ones. This is how you’ll make your product really stand out. To do this, you’ll need to create unique stories that capture your audience’s attention. Now, I understand that writing stories may not be in your wheelhouse if you’ve been in sales or business, but the truth is, stories are one of the most effective ways to stand out—especially in a saturated market. That’s because stories are a great way for customers to connect with your product on a deeper level. A level that screams,
“I’ve been in your shoes and I know how to get you out of this mess. Trust me, once we get through it, your life will be so much better.” Stories affect your customers on an emotional level—which is exactly what you want. Since people buy subconsciously, or once a product evokes their emotion, it’s important that you truly connect.
How to Create Stories that People Care About argue that you should keep them short so you don’t lose your audience’s attention. Your stories should build like a childhood storybook: With a beginning that captures your audience’s interest, a problem that your customers are facing, and a solution that’s easy to tackle (i.e. with your product or service). Keep in mind that your stories are not supposed to be focused on selling your product right now. Sure, they’ll be indirectly selling your product, but this theme should be subtle and not blasted throughout the tale.
Instead, your goal is to come across as genuine and authentic so your target audience trusts that you’ve been in their shoes, understand their daily struggles, and really want to help. So, using your customer testimonials, or your personal narrative, start creating a relatable story around your product. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated here. You can start out by answering questions like:
- What problem(s) are my customers facing?
- What emotions or feelings come up for my customer as a result of these problems?
- How does this product help them with their situation?
- What feelings or positive results do my customers see when they overcome these hurdles?
If you have customer testimonials, you can go through and highlight the answers to these questions using their responses. From there, all you have to do is connect the pieces to create a story that flows. And if you don’t have customer testimonials just yet, you should focus your attention on your story and how your life has changed because of your product or service. Customers love to hear transformation stories, since it gives them hope that they’ll overcome their situation too. So this works even better if the story you’re telling is your personal transformation. Your story doesn’t have to be an incredible Biggest Loser-esque transformation either. It just needs to show how you were struggling initially, the precise turning point that came for you (known as the “aha” moment), how you got through it, and eventually how your life has changed since taking these steps. You’ll want to make mention of the exact emotions you were feeling since this is where your customers will relate the most. After you create your story, you need to share it anywhere your brand lives. This means you’ll make mention of it on your website, all over your social media channels, and most importantly, anytime you’re face-to-face with a potential prospect. When you lead with your brand’s stories, you’ll capture your audience’s attention, along with their emotions, and you’ll have no problem standing out in any market. Plus, since your stories are unique to your brand, you won’t be stuck comparing yourself with your competition. Instead, you’ll be offering something much more valuable to customers: a deeper connection that aligns with their personal goals. This is a recipe for creating loyal customers for life.