It’s only natural to compare ourselves to others. When you are in the early stages of a new small business, it’s tempting to look at what others are doing and follow the crowd. You don’t want to do the wrong thing but you understand that blending in won’t get you far. As a brand designer, I help my clients find the balance in their brand positioning.
Your positioning must have two factors to be successful:
1. Clarity – state what you do & who you serve
2. Uniqueness – identify why should I pick you & how are you different from the rest
To start figuring out your brand positioning, make two competitor lists:
1. The leaders in your industry you want to emulate.
2. The linear businesses you compete with directly.
We look at both because you need to generate leads in your business now but also want to plan for growth. Looking at linear competitors will help you carve a niche in the present while keeping an eye out for where you are headed.
Answer these questions for each competitor on your list:
1. What do you like about what they are doing?
2. If you could take one positive thing away from what the business is doing, what would it be?
3. What do you not like about what they are doing?
4. Are there any gaps in messaging or other angles you could explore?
Reflecting on what you like and what you don’t like in your industry will give you clarity on where you see your small business fitting into the overall competitive landscape. Start using language to establish your niche. Look for engagement that your message is gaining traction with your audience to validate your idea.
Keep adjusting until you’ve clearly defined your unique brand positioning. Make your own category.
Need a little one-on-one support? Check out my branding services to see how I can help.