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The Importance of Competitive Differentiation in Small Business Marketing


By Allegra Grand Rapids

In a recent blog post recapping Allegra’s “Find Your X Factor,” a hard-hitting webinar showcasing strategic ways for small business owners to distinguish their companies to drive leads and loyalty, I shared six tactics to break through the noise with an effective cross-channel marketing strategy.

Kate Dunn, the award-winning, cross-channel marketing influencer and Director of Keypoint Intelligence for InfoTrends, led the webinar.

In today’s discussion, let’s dive deeper into one of the hot topics Kate presented to webinar attendees: the importance of competitive differentiation in small business marketing strategies.

Below are several considerations for successfully incorporating brand differentiators into your small business marketing strategy:

Your differentiation must be clear.
A differentiator is a characteristic about your business or brand that separates it from key competitors and offers a perceived advantage in the eyes of your target audience. As a small business marketer, you’re likely able to pinpoint what makes your brand stand out, but is it clear to your customers?
competitive differentiation

Once you’ve clearly defined your business’ competitive differentiators, it’s important to position them within your brand’s key messaging strategy to ensure they are communicated and marketed in the most effective manner.

Your differentiation should be easy to articulate.

In her presentation, Kate referenced a key finding from SiriusDecisions, a leading B2B research and advisory firm, revealing that “an inability to articulate unique value is the number one reason that sales reps don’t achieve their quotas.”

Once you clearly define your points of differentiation, be sure everyone in your organization can easily speak about it. It’s crucial that the brand differentiators are uncomplicated and concise. Likewise, it’s especially important to train your sales team to effectively communicate your competitive differentiators with prospects.

Understand that value proposition isn’t always a competitive differentiator.
According to a customer experience survey by the Corporate Executive Board Company, only 14 percent of buyers perceive enough meaningful difference between brands’ business value to be willing to pay extra for that difference. Consequently, it’s essential that your operations and customer service match your company’s intended differentiators. In turn, to market the value proposition of your business’ product or service to customers, you must take the time to truly know your customers and what they value in your business.

In a crowded marketplace, a strong competitive differentiation can set you apart and garner more interest, but it’s important to ensure that all aspects of the company live up to this promise.

Interested in advancing your small business’ marketing strategy by using your brand differentiation to gain a competitive edge? Check out the recording of Allegra’s “Finding Your X Factor” webinar to gain valuable insights, and be sure to contact Allegra.