Unless you’re in an uber-niche market (say, a mouth-held brush that lets you “lick” your cat), chances are good that your small business has plenty of big competition. And despite your best efforts, sometimes marketing to your customers isn’t enough — instead, you need to play the other side of the field and effectively market against your competition.
But how do you do that without coming off like a schoolyard bully (and losing your fan base in the process)? We have a few ideas!
Know Thy Enemy
Before you can successfully market your small business against another company, you need to find out everything you can about them. How do they do business? What are their best sellers? What do people love (or hate) about them?
Learn who they target and how they market. Do they cater to wealthy seniors or middle-class families? Do they advertise in the Sunday paper, or are their campaigns geared more toward social media platforms? Do they prefer the hard sell, or are they a bit subtler?
You can’t launch an offensive without doing the proper reconnaissance!
Fill the Gap
Now that you know the good, the bad and the ugly about your competitors, you’re in a good position to market against them.
Are their customers dissatisfied with the level of service they receive? Talk up your own prowess in that department. Does their product have a fatal flaw? Show how yours is better.
It’s not about telling the customer what the competition can’t do; it’s about showing them why you are the right company for the job!
Keep It Positive
Similarly, naming names and badmouthing the competition is a definite no-no. Not only does it create bad blood between you and other companies, but it also leaves a bad taste in your potential customers’ mouths.
That doesn’t mean you can’t (subtly) plant a seed of doubt. Consider the following exchange:
Customer: Hmm, that price seems a bit high. I can get it from Umbrella Corp. for 20% less.
You (Choice 1): Scoff and say, “That’s because their product is horrible!”
You (Choice 2): Smile and say, “While I understand Umbrella Corp. can offer it at a considerable discount, I still would recommend buying from us because we stand behind our product.”
With Choice 2, you haven’t explicitly said that the competitor’s product is worthless or that they don’t offer a guarantee. What you’ve done is plant a seed of doubt while reinforcing the benefits of doing business with your company.
Be the Better Small Business
Want a foolproof way to ensure that the competition doesn’t win the war? Be the better business! Put more effort into your products and services. Make sure your social media pages are on point. Have a stellar marketing campaign. When you provide the best customer experience in the business, you’ll force your competitors to have to market against you instead of the other way around!
Do you need some help devising a marketing strategy that puts your small business head and shoulders above the competition? Get in touch with Mischa Communications! Our team will work with you to make sure your marketing plan reflects just how much better than the competition you are!