Step 2

Differentiate Your Company From your Competitors

Don't Try to Be Everything to Everyone

Sellers often avoid focusing their messages on a specific target market for fear of losing business elsewhere. However, this only dilutes what might otherwise have been a compelling message for a well-targeted group.

In trying to address everyone, the watered-down marketing material becomes compelling to no one— and sales go nowhere.

Consider the Following Statements

If you were an executive in a global financial services firm, which statement would you find compelling?

1)  “We provide a complete loan management system to all financial service firms of all sizes.”

2) “We provide highly scalable data solutions to Global Financial Service firms that must securely handle millions of mobile transactions each minute, in any currency and country.”

The first statement says nothing specific about what the vendor can do for a global financial services company. Because it tries to appeal to everyone, it is believable by no one.

Meanwhile, the second statement articulates specific pain points a Global Financial Service team may deal with–such as the huge amount of transactions that must occur in any given minute, as well as the complexity of those transactions.

The intended audience of this statement will clearly know this offer is for them.

Differentiation starts with Two Deliberate
Acts of Selection

1. Select the right target customer group.

2. Select the right competitors against which to position your products/services against.

Without completing the first step in our four-step process (identifying the real customers), effective differentiation cannot be achieved.

Although most executives know and agree with this, very few are able to complete the analysis necessary to arrive at market selection decisions they can trust.

Bringing in an outside party to conduct this analysis while working with the Leadership Team is one of the most effective ways to complete the strategy phase quickly and with certainty.

Once you have selected your target customers and competitors, developing your positioning statement becomes a relatively straightforward exercise.


Do you Satisfy your Customers' Needs Better than Anyone Else?

Once you identify how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors, the next step is to articulate the compelling need that your target customers have, and how you meet that need more effectively than any of your competitors.

Here’s an example of such a statement.

“We are the only PSD2 certified data platform that enables global financial services firms to process tens of millions of mobile, online, and in-store transactions each day, supporting thousands of merchants using hundreds of payment methods in over a hundred currencies.”

Though the above claim must be supported with evidence,  its level of specificity deters competitors from simply copying the claim.