One of my colleagues recently made a comment that people don’t think they’re creative because they can’t do graphic design, while forgetting that creativity doesn’t fit into one box or another. You’re not any less creative because you like to garden than if you can paint a flower. This made me wonder what sets me apart creatively. What am I good at?
What sets your organization apart from others that may do something similar? In today’s world, we are rarely bound to have only one choice for anything. With technology at our fingertips, it’s possible to research an organization and its competitors within a few minutes. If a potential customer were to ask what makes you different from Company B, do you have an answer ready and can you back it up?
What is a Differentiator?
Differentiators are not just what technology, brand or assets you own but what you do every day to help meet your customers’ needs. It should be difficult for your competitors to replicate these efforts and must be something you can articulate. It’s not enough to say your culture is what sets you apart from your competition, but what about your culture makes your customers’ lives better.
Review Your Differentiators
If you have not taken time to have that conversation about what makes you different, now is the time. A facilitation that reviews your strengths and weaknesses is a great way to streamline what you’re focusing on. However, this is not a conversation to have once and never think about it again. Differentiators may change over time as organizations grow and develop. Everything gets better with practice and innovation should be a constant goal. Make sure your organization is regularly reviewing what sets you apart to see if changes are needed in your messaging and business development.
Lean into It
If a competitor already markets something they do well, it can be difficult to gain market share by saying you can do it, too. This is the time to lean into you what makes you different and continue to innovate with that in mind. For example, T-Mobile has a small network and cannot compete with the bigger companies. So, it sets itself apart by marketing to an urban audience that doesn’t want to feel “owned” by their cellular company. They let customers bring over unlocked phones to use, pay early termination fees and address pain points with their customers. Cellphone companies seem to have a lock on marketing their differentiators.
Knowing what sets you apart from the competition is something to be proud of and shared. Differentiators help shape your messaging, determine who your desired audience is and guide where you spend your advertising dollars.
As information comes at us from every direction, now is the time to ensure your messaging cuts through the noise. You can do this by identifying what makes your organization unique and focusing on developing and sharing that message. If you’re not sure where to start, Chartwell can help.