Most of the best products aren’t unique.

Think about it. Google didn’t invent the search engine. Apple isn’t the only company making smartphones.

What really matters is how you stand out, how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Making your startup stand out in a crowded market is difficult, but with creative ideas and a lot of hard work, you can make it happen…

Know your benefits inside out

While it’s likely that someone is offering a similar product to yours, there must be something that makes you unique, your USP, the reason you decided to build your product in the first place.

Hopefully, you already know what benefits your product can offer that nothing else can. But are you making the most out of it?

When we started working on Contactzilla, we knew there was a lot of competition in the contact management market. However, our dedication to simple, collaborative contact management for businesses means we stand out against our competitors.

PR and marketing expert Wendy Marx points out that what your customers really want, is to know how your product is going to help them…

“Differentiation doesn’t mean focusing on some obscure feature that no one cares about. Instead, draw attention to a feature or benefit or expertise that matters to customers.”

Remember, your customers want to know how your product will solve their problems. It’s these benefits that can help your customers decide on you over competitors who offer similar features.

Human companies win customers

People don’t trust companies, people trust people.

Bringing a little personality to your brand helps customers to trust you, and it could be just the thing your competitors are missing.

Austin Allison, CEO of dotloop, believes showing a little personality is key to standing out…

“Showing personality, treating customers like family, and emphasizing human values will help your company stand out from the crowd and in turn generate more business.”

People want great service

In a world where we’ve all spent half an hour on hold to a customer service department, great customer service is crucial. It also could be exactly what your business needs to stand out.

Take Zappos as an example. Selling shoes online was a crowded market but Zappos used a never-before-seen value on customer service to help them stand out from the crowd.

Mark Lowe, Co-founder of Third City, believes customer service is fast becoming one of the most important aspects of brand marketing

“Forget TV advertising and Olympic sponsorship; the most important marker by which consumers judge a company is the very last customer service experience they had. In a world where brands look similar and competition in certain sectors is questionable at best, getting the customer experience right is the one truly effective way for a brand to differentiate itself.”

More features isn’t the answer

Just because your competitors are adding an exciting new feature, that doesn’t mean you should too.

Founder and CMO of Onswipe, Jason L. Baptiste, believes that adding excessive features just to keep up with competitors usually results in a product no one actually wants…

“It’s the path that many tablet makers have taken when competing against the iPad. There is a constant game of one-upping on features… yet nobody has even come close to overtaking the iPad in the tablet market. Why is this? Everyone is trying to BE Apple, not BEAT Apple.”

Stop worrying about the competition and focus on giving your users an experience they really want. By all means, keep an eye on what else is out there, but at the end of the day, focus on your users and creating a product they love.


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