How do I differentiate myself from my competition?” This tends to be one of the most commonly asked questions among entrepreneurs.
Regardless of the industry you’re operating in, it is highly possible that there are already tons of competitors fighting for the same piece of the pie. Whether you’re working in fashion, cosmetics, food & beverages, etc., there’s always going to be a high number of companies trying to target your potential customers.
The democratization process that we have been seeing in the e-commerce industry during the past decade has allowed lots of entrepreneurs to start their own online businesses with small investments.
This same democratization process has, however, dramatically increased the competition. Therefore, making sure you stand out from the e-commerce crowd is crucial and should play a vital role in your marketing plan.
In this article, we have selected three brands who have found their niche and have been able to differentiate themselves from their competitors in an effective way; developing a strong brand image with a unique value proposition.
Vionic is a brand specializing in manufacturing stylish, yet comfortable shoes for daily use.
Whether you are a student or a professional, it’s highly possible that you spend many hours each day wearing the same pair of shoes. How often do you complain about how much your feet hurt? How many times have you found yourself excited to get home just so you can kick off your shoes? Vionic wants you to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling.
Let’s keep talking about fashion for a second. Next up is Rothy’s, an innovative company that manufactures women’s everyday ballet and pointed toe flats.
Besides producing stylish and comfortable shoes, Rothy’s main competitive advantage is the fact that their shoes are made from recycled materials and mostly water bottle plastics.
Rothy’s does a great job of letting their website visitors know about this by placing information about their recycling process on their homepage.
When visitors click on “learn more”, they’re taken to a page where they can read about Rothy’s recycling process and how to properly dispose shoes.
Thanks to this policy, Rothy’s attracts customers who are not only looking for comfortable shoes for daily use, but who are also environmentally conscious.
Dux Sports is a company based in Puerto Rico, which sells baseball gear, including compression apparel, gloves, hats, and more.
As you probably know, baseball is a huge sport in Puerto Rico, and therefore, there are a lot of companies trying to compete for this massive market.
What makes Dux Sports different from their competition is, however, their own origins as a company. As they mention on their website, Richard Gonzalez (Dux Sports’ CEO) started organizing local baseball leagues for kids aged 9-16 shortly after graduating from college.
During this time as a tournament director, he quickly realized just how many kids in Puerto Rico were not receiving fair coaching and were unable to play baseball with the right gear just because their parents couldn’t afford it.
Richard thought there had to be something he could do to fix this, and he decided to launch the SWAG Foundation (Share With us the Act of Giving). For every sale, this foundation offers a baseball player between the ages of 9 and 15 a free one-day group clinic with professional and experienced players.
In this case, Dux’s origins as a philanthropy-driven company is their main competitive advantage, allowing them to compete side by side along other (big) competitors in the market.
GoldieBlox is a toy company manufacturing construction toy sets.
At a first glance, one would say that they’re competing with huge corporations like Lego, Hasbro, Mattel, FisherPrice, etc. However, GoldieBlox doesn’t just build toys. GoldieBlox’s mission is to help build a generation of female engineers.
GoldieBlox is more than just a toy company. They’re a movement to change the gender ratio in engineering by letting girls (and their parents) know that engineering isn’t just a boy’s field.
By having such a strong message and company mission, GoldieBlox has been able to grow their brand beyond solely toys. Their obsession with achieving gender equality in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields has helped them evolve into a media company as well.
Aside from toys, GoldieBlox now also distributes videos, podcasts, books and apps that motivate girls to become engineers.
Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur, or a seasoned business owner who is considering to enter new markets, you must focus on what makes you different from the rest of your competition, and make sure your customers know exactly what that is.
Your brand needs to be part of your company mission and message. If you want your brand to stand out from the competition, you will need to be able to define its role in the broader scheme of things.
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