Compete In A Competitive Market By Differentiating Yourself

Differentiating YourselfThough some companies rely on the superiority of their brand name or the quality of the product that they are selling, other businesses may have to try and differentiate themselves to stay competitive.

A sales management team has to realize that originality can go a long way in the current market. While quality and brand recognition are vital to survival, innovation and a different approach can help to increase a company’s bottom line.

According to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, several companies serve as an excellent example for how to carve out an independent and significant segment of the market.

Companies like Amazon, Apple and LinkedIn have been able to differentiate themselves from their competitors through innovative marketing, user interface and a specific and well-outlined business model.

Amazon was able to stay ahead of the curve during the decline of the book and video stores. They carved out a specific market where they would be an online retailer of both types of products while other companies would offer just one.

LinkedIn is another company that emerged recently due to their specific business model.

“They have taken social media to the business,” said Kivett. “Most of the time before LinkedIn if you wanted to find something out about an individual you had to go to the business website, a lot of the times the information that was available was not updated or adjusted.”

LinkedIn came out with a product that would serve as a specific resource for individuals at any company. They allow a salesperson to follow an employee, rather than the businesses that they are associated with, according to the executive.

This type of database revolutionized the world of sales and gave representatives a tool to strike up a more personal conversation with potential buyers. Salespeople could learn about the client that they are about to deal with prior to any correspondence.

LinkedIn acts as both a reference tool and a social media site, and this type of product had not existed. They differentiated themselves as a company by finding a niche in the market, according to Kivett.

Another company that was able to set themselves apart from the competition through a unique sales strategy was Apple. They differentiated their business model by providing complex technology in an user-friendly way.

“Apple did what everybody wanted the computer industry to do,” said the executive. “They made electronic components that made our lives easier. Their approach to things is less is more, and simplifying certain processes will make the products more marketable.”

Specific technology like the iPhone was designed as a smartphone that was simple yet all-encompassing. They got rid of the menus and lists that other companies included and presented consumers with easy-to-use icons.

They introduced a phone that didn’t flip open, provided a colorful screen that had easy to distinguish icons and made the whole system easier to interact with.

“They streamlined the simpler product and used the interface to get people in,” said Kivett. “Look at their website, which is an advertising concept that aligns with their products, white screen, black letters. Simple and easy to use.”

Apple also made computers easier and less complicated than their competitors.

“They differentiated themselves by making the computer do what it is supposed to do, as if a non-technical person designed it,” the executive noted.

Most companies use computer people to engineer their products and design the interface. Apple thought like the average person to create a program that even the most technilogically-challenged people could operate.