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Urban Outfitters created a powerful disruptive force because it hired artists instead of businesspeople to manage its stores. They had freedom in shaping the interiors of their stores, and the result was remarkable. Urban Outfitters beat its competition by changing the traditional retail model: Its customers learned that choosing Urban Outfitters meant walking into a different store every time instead of experiencing the monotony associated with many retailers.

Identifying a model that can be changed, and executing these changes can take months, if not years, but you can easily start this journey using your own products and services. For example, you could boost the capabilities of your current business processes using virtual reality applications like Samsung Gear VR.

Giants like Nokia and BlackBerry were wiped out from the smartphone market because of lack of innovation. Remember, your competitors are regularly innovating, and new entrants are disrupting the marketplace. Your business should innovate often and in a manner that the competition finds hard to imitate. Bottom line: When assessing which of these ways to beat your competition is best, define your brand, set a unique selling proposition, and stay ahead of your competition in terms of quality, price, and customer service.

Providing great, and memorable, customer service is a great way to build loyalty among your customers and differentiate yourself from the competition. Put a priority on hiring employees who have a full understanding of not just your products and services, but your brand as a whole. Finding the right people for the job is more important than filling those jobs.

Your staff should greet customers with a pleasing smile, and they should show gratitude to those they interact with. It is essential to boost the team spirit of your staff and hire team players. Reward the team players, as employees need constant motivation to outperform others.

Your customer care team should always remain courteous and respectful. They must always be responsive to customer queries. They should have a problem-solving approach and always ask for customer feedback. Customer-centric companies are powered by dependable staff who raise the level of customer satisfaction.

Thorough customer service training involves weeks or months. Even when you think your customer service team is performing at its best, it can likely be improved.

Sure, you need to find new customers, but beating your competition begins with the people who already know — and trust — your brand. Find a niche in the market via storytelling and specialization. There are several strategies you should be using to ensure you stay ahead of your competitors. How do they do that? What should the company discontinue doing and why? What should the company consider adding and why? What are the characteristics of your typical customer?

Why does your customer buy from you? What does the company do well? Can you give me a recent example? What does it do poorly? Can you specify? How did you hear of them? What criteria led you to select them? Do they perform all of your work in this area? What do you like best about them? What do you like least about them? Compared to other firms, what are their advantages? Are there any other services you would like them to provide?

Would you recommend them to others? How would you describe them? Company Resources and Opportunities Generally speaking, all firms possess some type of resource or resources that help distinguish them from other firms. Listed below are some pertinent questions regarding financial strength that may be addressed: Is there an inverse or direct relationship between per unit cost and production?

What is your current debt? Long-term debt? Plan for future major expenditures? What is your expected rate of return? What credit terms do you offer? Are they too generous? Some pertinent questions may be: What is the cost of materials? Is your source of suppliers dependable? Does the quantity of supplies available fluctuate? If so, do prices fluctuate? Can you use substitute materials? Questions you may want to address are: Is your plant or office size adequate? Is your equipment critical?

Does it need to be replaced? Is it flexible? Do your employees have the education and training they need? How do your compensation and benefits compare to the industry norm? Do you reward exceptional performance? How does your turnover rate compare to the industry norm? How important to you is growth? Market share? Maximizing profits? How much do you want market share to grow in the short run?

In the long run? And profits? Eliminate those opportunities that are mismatches. Analyze the remaining opportunities using one or more of the following approaches: Total profit approach Return on Investment approach Expected value approach Boston Consulting Group approach The measurement criteria used to evaluate each of these opportunities should include both quantitative and qualitative components. Quantitative components would summarize the objectives of the firm and include items like sales, return on investment and profit targets.

Qualitative components would consist of issues summarized to address the following types of questions: What kind of business does my firm want to be in? What business should I exclude? What weaknesses should I avoid? What strengths and trends should I build in? Defining the Process In simple terms, the process of gaining a competitive edge consists of several steps: Discovering what your capabilities and resources are in your target market.

Finding a place in the market where you will be able to position those capabilities. Developing a strategy to capture and maintain your position. Implementing and fine tuning your strategy. To improve the odds that successful competitive strategies are developed and implemented, the following factors should be considered: Personal Strengths.

Company Strengths. Market Position Competition Market Trends There is no single factor which dictates what your firm needs to do in the market. Factors you may wish to consider in improving your operational efficiency would include the following: Try to match all your business activities with real and distinct customer needs.

You will need to identify all of your customers needs and align or adjust all of your activities to ensure customer satisfaction. If you are currently expending time and resources for activities which do not correspond to specific customer needs, reduce or eliminate these activities entirely. This reduction may involve outsourcing and worker elimination, an investment in more state-of-the-art products to improve efficiency, or a conversion from manual to automated systems for inventory or billing.

Develop job descriptions providing for cross-functional responsibilities which requires everyone to be responsible for customer service. Suppose you wanted to lower production costs. Each of your departments would need to work with one other as a team to identify ways to simplify processes and lower costs. Develop a screening process for suppliers, distributors and other vendors that ensures cost efficiency and timely transfer of products or services to your customer. It requires that you outperform your competition as follows: Respond rapidly to changes in market demand by adjusting your product or service.

Ensure that each customer is provided with a quality product that has the reliability and consistency to satisfy their needs. Control production costs to provide your customers with your product or service at a competitive price. If your firm wishes to gain a competitive edge through customer service, the following factors should be considered: Flexibility. Try to be flexible in delivering your products or services to your customer.

Can you deliver different assortments to different shoppers? Relationship selling building long term relationships with your customers should be encouraged. Ensure that an infrastructure exists to provide a customer service information system capable of collecting and analyzing customer data to be used by both management and employees for making intelligent customer service decisions. If you want to gain your competitive edge through customer service, you must outperform your competition in the following areas: Make sure your product is tailored to the individual needs of your customers.

Make sure your customer service is tailored to individual needs. They often permit you to download data so you can combine it with other data to produce your own statistics.

Annual Reports If your competitor is a publicly-held company, many of its reports to the U. Annual reports provide financial information, including sales volume, revenue increases, and their total market share. Annual reports from privately-held corporations are sometimes available through friends, relatives, and business acquaintances who own stock in a competitor’s company.

Your Sales Force Your sales staff probably has more access to competitive information than anyone else in your organization. Customers often show salespeople sales literature, contracts, price quotes, and other information from competitors. Part of a salesperson’s job is to get customers to discuss problems they have with a competitor’s product.

Customers will also reveal your competition’s product benefits, strengths, and customer service programs. Instruct your sales force to ask for copies of any competitive literature if and when that’s possible. Your entire sales staff should keep a record of all competitive information they discover — even if it’s just a rumor or gossip.

Devote a regular portion of each sales meeting to a discussion of the competition. Other Employees Your employees working in other areas of the company also become exposed to competitive information. They interact with others in their industry area and often learn what your rival is doing or hear gossip and rumors. Make sure your entire staff knows they should share any information concerning the competition immediately. Former employees of a competitor can provide you with insight on: your competitor’s new products, marketing strategies, how-to improve productivity and employ other resources more effectively, and what your competitor’s general working environment is like.

Trade Associations Most professional trade associations compile and publish industry statistics and report on industry news and leaders through trade association magazines and newsletters. Most trade associations also sponsor trade shows and other professional meetings. This is an opportunity to see first-hand what your competition is producing. It also provides the opportunity to discover new players who may soon become your competition.

Direct Observation If you own a flower shop, you should visit all of the flower shops in your geographic region. Act as a prospective customer; ask questions. You can learn about their selection and service and compare it to your own. Do not use an alias or disguise to gather intelligence from competitors. It may seem like a trivial deception, but it is dishonest, and could come back to haunt you. Call an number and pretend to be a customer with questions and problems. If you sell products through a catalog, you not only want to be on your competition’s mailing list; you should order a product from them to determine how long it takes to arrive, the method of shipment, and how it was packaged.

Buy your competitor’s products. Products can be evaluated and reverse engineered to provide meaningful information about your competitor’s capabilities and weaknesses, technological innovations, manufacturing costs and methods.

Your Competitors You probably see the owner of a rival organization at trade shows, association meetings, and perhaps even socially. You can garner a great deal of information through a simple, friendly conversation. People like to talk about themselves and share their success stories and concerns with business associates. Assign someone to check the competitions’ Web sites regularly for pertinent changes and news.

And take a good look at your own: Do you say anything there that you’d just as soon not have your competitors see? Analyze Competitive Information Once you’ve gathered all of the competitive data you have been able to locate, it’s analysis time. You should analyze to determine product information, market share, marketing strategies, and to identify your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.

Product Evaluation You should know from your sales staff and customer feedback what product features and benefits are most important to your customers and potential customers. A product’s or service’s competitive position is largely determined by how well it is differentiated from its competition and by its price. Make a list of product features and benefits in order of importance, and prepare a table to show whether or not each of your competitors fulfill them.

For example, Medium-sized companies that purchase copier machines may look for the following product benefits and features when making buying decisions: Competing Company: A B C D Features: 1.

Auto paper feed 2. Auto enlarge or reduce 3. Collates 4. Staples 5. Warranty Benefits: 1. Easy to operate 2. Saves money 3. Good print quality 4. Dependable 5. Features are fairly straightforward, either a product has a feature or it doesn’t.

Benefits, on the other hand, are not as simple and should only be recorded based on customer feedback. For example, company B may claim in their company literature that their copier is fast, but a user may feel otherwise.

Or, company B may indeed have a copier that by industry standards is fast, but you may have a copier that’s even faster.

Now, evaluate your competition’s product or service. How does your product compare to your closest competitor’s product? What features and benefits are unique to your product? To theirs? The more unique features and benefits your product has, the stronger your market position will be. For example, if you produce and market an office copying machine that staples collated copies together and your closest competitor doesn’t have this feature, you have an advantage.

You can then sell the same market segment the benefit of added convenience and time saved. Evaluate your competitor’s price. Just because you have the same products as other businesses, doesn’t mean everyone has the same price. Your own production costs greatly impact your pricing. If your price for a similar product is higher than your competitor’s, then your market position is weaker; and if it’s lower, then your competitive position is better.

A temporary price decrease by a competitor might indicate nothing more serious than a transient need to move excess inventory. However, a trend of lowered prices may indicate that your competition is doing it to gain market share and improve production costs.

It could also mean your rival is in financial trouble and has been forced to lower prices. It’s in this type of situation that rumors and gossip become helpful. If there are rumors that a company is in financial trouble and you discover price fluctuations, it’s more likely that there are problems.

Customer preference of products is only part of the analysis. There are internal operational factors which can provide a competitive edge as well. Your competitors’ products may not have the high quality of yours, but they might offer free delivery; or their employees might be extremely motivated and committed to gaining market share. You need to learn how they are doing on the inside. Some factors to consider: Financial resources — Are they able to withstand financial setbacks?

How are they funding new product development and improvement? Operational efficiencies — Are they able to save time and cost with clever production and delivery techniques? Product line breadth — How easily can they increase revenues by selling related products?

Strategic partnerships — What kinds of relationships do they have with other companies in terms of product development, promotion or add-on sales?

Market Share The most widely used measure of sales performance is market share. A competitor may not provide the best product or service; however, if they generate a significant amount of sales to the market, they may: Define the standards for a particular product or service. Influence the popular perception of the product or service.

 
 

– 8 tips for dealing with competitors — Startup Hacks by Alex Iskold

 

By distinguishing yourself from your competitors visually for example through a creative logo or an intriguing design on your own website , you will stand out in the crowd and make sure your potential participants remember you as they move towards the end of the assessment process and is ready to choose you as a provider.

Your customer reviews are unique, and no business can steal these from you. Make sure to collect customer reviews from your participants, so that you can highlight the very best ones on your own website and other places you advertise your courses. Nothing is more credible than reviews from previous participants. Providing good customer service is not only important for customer satisfaction, customer retention and additional sales , but also for attracting new customers.

Do not underestimate the effect of Word of Mouth! Satisfied customers often become good ambassadors and recommend your training to others! Unfortunately, good customer service is in short supply. Fortunately for you, this opens up the opportunity to provide such good customer service that you can stand out amongst your competitors. But how do you provide good customer service? TheBalance provides you with ten tips on how to improve your customer service.

This site reveals, among other things, how important it is to keep your promises, to follow up on your customers , and to go the extra mile. Do you find it time-consuming and complicated to achieve and maintain good customer service? Check out our brilliant training administration system here.

Innovation is all about creating something new. Being innovative can be both unpredictable and risky , yet also one of the smartest ways to differentiate yourself. Bunny yoga is a good example of this. Bunny Yoga is a yoga course where the participants are joined by adoptable rabbits during the sessions. It was Sunberry Gym in Canada that started with this in to focus on abandoned pets and raise funds for the charity Bandaids for Bunnies.

Participants who fell in love with a rabbit were offered to adopt the rabbit afterwards. Although rabbits may not be the recipe for success for any type of training, Bunny Yoga became a viral hit that led to long waiting lines on the courses. Distinguishing yourself from your competitors does not mean trying to avoid being compared to them. To be able to stand out in the crowd you must also be present. It does not help to stand out from your competitors if your potential participants do not find you when they are looking for training.

Be sure not only to be present on your own profiles and channels Website, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like , but also on common platform s for training providers and seekers.

Are you interested in visibility on the Kursguiden? Read more about marketing on Kursguiden here. There are, of course, a number of other ways you can stand out amongst your competitors, but hopefully this list gave you a place to start. Feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below if you want to share how you have chosen to differentiate yourself from your competitors!

Share this post: Linkedin Facebook Twitter email. With over 18 years of experience from the training industry and our finger on the market pulse continuously, we help training providers achieve more efficient operations and higher revenue. Automate routine tasks and streamline your everyday with Training Administration from FrontCore. Do as other training providers: Use conversion optimalregistration forms from FrontCore. Eline produces content to help training providers achieve a more efficient and profitable day.

Announcement , News Articles. New functionality , News Articles. This new reporting feature will give you quick, granular and comprehensive insight into how well you are doing. Blog , Tips and Tricks. There are a few qualities the very best training providers have in common. If you would like to know what they are, then read this post! Your email address will not be published.

Norsk Log in. Find and use your USP USP stands for Unique Selling Point and essentially involves highlighting the unique factors you offer to differentiate yourself from competitors. Stand out visually Us humans constantly capture visual impressions , both consciously and subconsciously.

Crest Whitestrips is a perfect example of manufacturer competition. In essence, Crest appears to be working with and through dentist offices as they compete with the higher-priced in-office whitening systems from Zoom!

But in reality, they are also competing with you through their massive external advertising campaigns. And the more people buy Crest Whitestrips through retail stores or in dentist office, the less teeth whitening profits dentists can expect to earn.

Whether or not healthcare providers like to accept it, the reality is that most patients consider virtually all healthcare to be elective except perhaps for painful emergencies. We tend to avoid, delay and defer facing our problems as long as we possible can — even though we often know that delaying will also create negative consequences. Fear of pain is a significant competitive factor because it inhibits proactive patient self-referral.

In some professions that are frequently associated with pain such as dentistry, for example , this is unquestionably the most consistent obstacle to the long-term growth and financial health of all dental practices.

Multiple market forces are inspiring a more sophisticated and impressive quality of marketing among private practices. Private practice healthcare is a unique industry in marketing terms because most of the practice owners have historically refused to market their services. Most felt that marketing was unprofessional — even unethical — and would damage their reputation. They feared as many still do today that marketing their practice would make them appear either needy or greedy — probably both — to their colleagues and to their patients.

As a result, most practice owners refused to consider marketing their practice, leaving a largely uncontested opportunity for the few who held a different point of view. Not so long ago, in fact, marketing in private practice healthcare was such an open playing field that almost anything worked if a practice owner was simply willing to try it.

They did not understand that in the absence of more information and options, consumers would turn to and favor the few that were willing to provide them with information, even if the information was not always accurate or even truthful. Today, marketing is a fact of business life.

And because the quantity of marketing competitors continually grows, the quality of marketing has matured, becoming more skillful and sophisticated as practices work to effectively differentiate their practice from their competitors. Until fairly recently, most private practices did not even have their own website or promotional practice brochure. Today, many practices have both. While the quality of marketing ranges widely from embarrassingly bad to outstanding, it is increasingly clear that there is a rapid increase in the number of practices who are actively marketing their services with an impressive level of sophistication and high quality.

There are many ways to compile good research on your competition. Competition is increasing — rapidly and dramatically. Quantity of Marketing Competitors A number of factors contribute to the increase in the quantity of marketing.

Either they decide that they need to make appointments to see their doctors for the most minor of symptoms because the pharmaceutical advertising has gradually transformed them into paranoid hypochondriacs; or, They decide that they can self-prescribe and self-medicate through various over-the-counter remedies often manufactured and marketed by the same companies.

Product and Device Manufacturers Crest Whitestrips is a perfect example of manufacturer competition. Fear of Pain Fear of pain is a significant competitive factor because it inhibits proactive patient self-referral. Quality of Marketing by Competitors Multiple market forces are inspiring a more sophisticated and impressive quality of marketing among private practices. Competitive Research and Analysis There are many ways to compile good research on your competition.

 

Who are your top 3 competitors – none:.Proven Competition Analysis: Who Are My Biggest Competitors?

 
A competitive analysis allows you to assess your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses in your marketplace and Who are my top three competitors? A customer asking what makes you different than a competitor reveals not only an intention to buy, he also reveals the final choice of. “We have no competitors. No one else has thought about this, we are the first ones!” 3. Know your past and future competitors.

 
 

Who are your top 3 competitors – none:

 
 
Healthcare Success – America’s Top Marketing Experts for Medical, Dental and 3) Your competition includes more than just other practices in your. A competitive analysis allows you to assess your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses in your marketplace and Who are my top three competitors? “We have no competitors. No one else has thought about this, we are the first ones!” 3. Know your past and future competitors.

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