We’re in the middle of an in-depth series on finding your competitive advantage as a business. Our first blog discussed the importance of identifying and marketing your competitive advantage, to attract more customers and grow your business.
Then we turned to the four steps of finding your competitive advantage, starting with Step 1 of identifying and understanding your target market. As a quick recap, we discussed how to create a buyer profile, and then deeply understand what that buyer cares about, including:
- What keeps them up at night?
- What challenges do they face day-to-day?
- What do they value/what is important to them?
- What motivates them?
If you haven’t read the blog overviewing Step 1, you’ll definitely want to start there, because we’ll be applying that knowledge in this blog.
Step 2: Connecting the dots
Now that you have a solid understanding of your target customer and what is important to them, it’s time to connect those dots to the product(s) or service(s) you offer. Your aim here is to list as many ways as possible that your offering:
- Benefits your customer
- Solves a problem for them
- Helps them with a challenge
- Fulfills a need for them
It’s important that you don’t just list general features of your product or service—each one on your list has to specifically link back to something you know from your research that your customer cares about, will solve a problem for them, etc.
Examples to help you get started
Really spend some time brainstorming here. You want to make this list as long as possible (while ensuring each item on the list truly matters to customers or benefits them in some way). Here are some examples to help you think through the possibilities for your business:
- Specific products or services
- How you package/position your products or services
- Problems you help your customer solve (be specific, tangible)
- Anything unique or creative about your product/service – if it relates to something your customer cares about
- What separates you from competitors – what you do different
By the end of this step, you’ll have a list of ways that your product(s) or service(s) benefit your customers and solve problems. This will prepare you for steps three and four, where I help you narrow down that list to identify your competitive advantage as a company.
If you're looking for more guidance on this topic, check out this full-length guide on identifying your competitive advantage.