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B2B Marketing

How to Make your Product or Service Stand Out in a Saturated Market

If you’re finding it challenging to make your product or service really shine in the eyes of consumers, you’re not alone. Particularly in today’s unsteady economic climate, the more value and urgency/point of purchase incentive you can add, the better. But, how can this be accomplished?

1. Differentiate Your Product/Service Presentation from the Rest of the Field

As many products/services are essentially the same, you must find innovative ways to get your target market motivated to buy not just your product or service, but to get them drawn to your presentation. What is your product or services unique value proposition? How have you incorporated these messages into your marketing plan? And, does your current product packaging capture that unique value proposition? To stand out, your product or service must offer unique benefits that the consumer can see, touch, feel and therefore, understand in comparison to your competition.

2. Packaging & Visual Appeal Does Make a Difference

So how can you make your “widget” (i.e., product or service) stand out from all the other lookalike widgets? If you’re in business for yourself, or involved in packaging and marketing at all, brush off that creative thinking cap and brand your product with a catchy logo, bright colour or whatever other brilliant ideas you can come up with. If that’s beyond your control, once again, you need to rely upon presentation and the other advice listed above.

3. Leverage the Small Business Marketing Advantage

A great way to stand out and have more personal appeal is to find ways to cleverly market your business as a “Mum and Pop”, or privately owned operation. This is much easier if you truly are a small business, or part of one. This aspect of nostalgic Americana touches a chord in today’s buyers, especially Baby Boomers. Rather than buying from a huge conglomerate that’s likely to treat them like a number or “just another brick in the wall,” part of the appeal of buying from the little guy is the feeling they’ll receive more of your expert, personalized attention. So studying your competitors’ customer service policies, guarantees and warranties and then “going the extra mile” to exceed them is one way to gain customer loyalty and satisfaction. For instance, just as some coffee houses offer “punch cards” with the 10th coffee drink being Free, you can come up with a creative, similar incentive that will make you stand apart from the crowd and create repeat business and consumer loyalty.

4. Emphasize Quality over Quantity

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s running a one-man or one-woman sales show, that’s really one of the only ways you can begin to outshine the big dogs who also peddle similar wares to yours. Even if you’re a sales rep for a huge company, just remember – customers are not just buying your service or product, they’re also buying your style, personality and knowledge. Build their confidence in you by being consistently on time for appointments, doing call-backs when promised, and sending follow-up materials when requested. Brush off that golden rule of successful salesmanship and LISTEN to what the customer wants and needs. Find a way to make your presentation uniquely appealing to them, show them how it fills a niche they’ve mentioned. So at the risk of sounding like a refresher course of Sales 101, it’s true that one of the best ways you can make your mark is to really listen; hone your memory skills and take good mental notes each time you meet with your customer whether in person or by phone – you can transfer the notes to your iPad soon after your presentation,

5. Stay in Tune with Current Trends

Know your market place. For example, if you are targeting the largest demographic of consumers (18-34 year olds), you need to know what this group is in the market for. How does this demographic prefer to be marketed to?

Perform some of your own market research; maybe hang out in some stores that pull this crowd and pay attention to what language seems to really hook them in. “Cool” and “really neat” have not been hip for ages, dude. But, “hip” is currently back in use.

What type of product packaging draws their attention? Do they shop primarily online? Spend time familiarizing yourself with your market and the current trends within that market, so you can extrapolate those concepts and ideas into your product or services line.

6. Utilize Social Media to Your Best Advantage

Social media keeps on going and growing, so if you’re not already using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as marketing tools, it’s time to get onboard the social media train. Study and review what your competition is up to, and again, use your creativity to make your page, Tweet or blog/article updates unique.

One of the best things about this type of advertising is that it is often free initially. Beyond the basic free services, you can expand your marketing efforts to include Facebook ads or becoming involved with local coupon websites that target your local target market. The advertising budget necessary to participate in these types of ventures is more reasonable than you may think, and people are getting more and more accustomed to perusing online sites for the best deals in their area.

To stand out in today’s saturated global marketplace, your business’s products and services must offer something unique, this differentiating factor must be clear in the minds of your target market, you must be able to clearly articulate your business’s differences, you must be in tune with your target audience and you must leverage recent marketing tools, such as social media.

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Melissa O'Sullivan

Melissa has worked in digital marketing for over 15 years. She cut her teeth in the CSE models for various retailers and now spends most of her time building great brand development programs across social media. Melissa has been a contributor to MarketingThis.com since 2011.

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