When you have a great business idea, your first instinct might be to assume that it can’t help but succeed. However, you’ll likely find that even the best of ideas cannot succeed on the idea alone. Particularly in today’s digital business market, the online world can be saturated with business and product options in every conceivable category evolving at unprecedented rates. And while it may be that none of them can match your budding company and offering, making the average consumer and their chosen engagement platform understand that is easier said than done.
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to make a new business stand out above the rest in a meaningful way. Here, though, are some tips that will enable to you do all you can to give yourself the best chance to shine amidst the crowd.
Building The Right Product For The Right Customer Need
The perfect idea won’t always sell itself, but it’s still important to start with the basic process of making sure you have the product you want to work with. This maybe the incarnation of your product and design inspiration. Beyond this, however, you need to do extensive product testing to make sure you have everything working the way you want it to, continuously satisfying the needs of your target customer segment. In a past article here we suggested several ways to go about making sure your product is a good one, from identifying the problem the product solves, to interacting with potential customers to gain valuable feedback. All of this is designed to help you refine and perfect your idea, but it also sets the most basic of foundations for ultimately standing out in your market to offer a differentiated value proposition.
Make Your Web And Customer Engagement Presence Cohesive
It goes without saying that your product and the company you build around it need to have a strong web presence in today’s environment. What isn’t always as obvious however is the need to make that presence cohesive, and keep it in sync across various platforms. Customers will continuously evolve to shifting platform and technology trends such as those commonly observed on mobile and web technologies platforms. Once you figure out your brand proposition and how you want your product to be presented aligned, how you want your website to look, and/or what kind of logo and branding you want to proceed with, you should immediately strive to establish the same look and functionality wherever you can be accessed digitally. Your social platforms, website, and app, if you have one, should all very clearly be part of the same whole. This essentially amplifies and clarifies your digital presence, providing a confident and consistent presence to your customers.
Keep The Cost Of Change Low
Every digital presence and company today is expected continuously evolve to stay pace with our technology led society. Each change is an opportunity to stay ahead of the competition and learn. However where the cost of change is high or difficult, the rate of change declines. If not managed this can be one of the greatest risks to your business.Continuous deployment, service continuity and avoidance of downtime is critical to manage to avoid impacting your brand and revenue negatively.
When advising businesses from startups to enterprises, I find myself constantly delivering the objective viewpoint to keep things simple and keep the cost of change low to maximise learning and value. Unless you have the prowess of the bigger tech companies with teams and in-house capabilities to support high rates of change, then being tactically smart is your advantage. Using tooling to stay nimble, reduce time, risk maximising learning and value customers is an advantage.
By way of example, let’s consider the practice deploying changes to your live sites. This typically requires code changes, testing and rollback strategies. An alternative to keep changes or experiments light, reducing time and risk is to use tactical solutions. Updatable for instance, is a tool that will keep the original codebase of your site intact even as you make updates and deploy site-wide changes. This type of content modification helps you make sure your site is always up to date and relevant to your customers without any drastic changes or interruptions becoming apparent. This can enable you to be more cutting edge and more reliable at once, which can certainly give you an edge on competitors.
Argue Difference – Not Quality
With your advertising and marketing efforts, the natural temptation is to try to showcase how and why your product is better than those of your competitors. Unfortunately though, from a consumer perspective, this is often a dull approach, or even an untrustworthy one. Most companies emphasise quality, to the point that many consumers these days are even wary of reviews posted directly on product websites. What you can do instead to stand out a bit more and perhaps gain more consumers’ trust, is make an argument for how your product is different than its competition. An analysis at Wired on this topic poised to Monster energy drinks as an example, suggesting that no one would have simply believed Monster had a better energy drink. However, because its can was bigger, it stood out as different, and thus attracted attention and ultimately obtained a share of the market. Now, ideally the difference you emphasise is also, in its own way, representative of some improvement over competitors. But regardless, different can be more effective than better when you’re looking to stand out.
Our last suggestion actually has more to do with you than your product. It is simply to demonstrate some personality in order to make your product more relatable. While there’s something of a misconception that modern businesses exist primarily online in an entirely automated sense, consumers still appreciate a human touch – be it from chat support, cleverly written content, social media posts, etc. Potential customers will find it easier to fall in love with your product if they can admire and identify with the company behind it, which is why showing a little bit of character can be an invaluable act. You don’t want to take it too far; not everything is a joke, and saturating your site or social channels with too much playfulness can begin to look bizarre, or even desperate. But a creative approach and an ability to show a human side can go a long way.