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Council Post: Trying To Differentiate Your Business? Eight Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Often Make

Council Post: Trying To Differentiate Your Business? Eight Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Often Make

As a new entrepreneur, getting your product out into the market is hard enough, but when there is a lot of competition in your market, it can make things even tougher. When trying to differentiate their products in a situation like this, entrepreneurs are bound to make mistakes along the way.

Many members of Young Entrepreneur Council have gone through this themselves and have learned some valuable lessons from the experience. Below, eight of them explained the most common mistakes entrepreneurs tend to make when trying to differentiate their products in an oversaturated market and offered advice for how to remedy this situation.

Young Entrepreneur Council members list common mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to stand out.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Forgetting About Post-Sale Services

Many marketers focus only on selling their products, but when it comes to offering post-sale services, they fail to meet their customers’ expectations. This upsets your customers, promotes a bad reputation for your brand and drives your users away. If you don’t want that to happen, stop making this mistake. Make high-quality customer service your top priority and train your support team to treat your customers with respect, compassion and patience. This will help you stand apart from your competitors in a much stronger way and drive more conversions too. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

2. Overcomplicating Your Product

The biggest failure when differentiating your product is in overcomplicating it. Customers want to feel confident in the solution while also being able to understand it. The more complex something is, the harder it is for consumers to process the information in order to make a positive purchasing decision since their lack of understanding may be a reason that drives doubt or delay. While it might seem appropriate to use scientific jargon or technical wording when explaining your products and services, it makes the most sense to speak to your audience’s needs and use the terms they are most familiar with. In instances where unique vocabulary is required, add videos and graphics to help better communicate those points. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

3. Not Conducting Market Research

Many entrepreneurs go to extremes to help their product stand out, which is not generally a bad idea. The problem is when the extreme angle they take for their products isn’t well thought out or researched for compatibility with the target market. If you are going to push the envelope in terms of naming, copy, imagery or anything customer-facing, you want to do so in a way your prospective customers will enjoy and appreciate; otherwise, you risk simply offending or pushing them away. Do market research and focus groups before choosing your method of standing out in a market. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

4. Failing To Choose A Niche

Many entrepreneurs want to help everyone, and this waters down their messaging. Entrepreneurs who market well are clear, specific and differentiated. Those who are convinced they can save the world instead of focusing on one segment of the market struggle with branding. Entrepreneurs who learn how to differentiate via choosing a clear niche market have an easier time creating content and attracting a specific segment of the market. – Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss

5. Not Actively Building A Reputation

The problem that many young business leaders run into is they don’t actively build their reputation as they are building a product. If you want to secure sales, build trust and see engagement on your site, you need to prove that you’re an expert in your industry. There are quite a few ways you can accomplish this task. I recommend publishing detailed blog posts that include plenty of relevant statistics from trusted sources. I also suggest breaking into the social sphere and engaging with established experts before, during and after your product launch to continue building your reputation. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

6. Not Explaining Why You’re Unique

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of stating that they are unique without explaining how. You can make yourself distinct by creating a series of blog posts that compare your offerings to your competitors’ and making sure that you create meaningful and fair comparisons. As you build content and bring more people to your website, you’ll stand out by offering useful blog posts. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Relying Too Much On Branding

One common mistake is relying too much on branding tactics such as a logo, catchphrase or brand mascot without having a solid product that really sets you apart. High-profile brands can get away with this because everyone already knows who they are. When you’re smaller and newer, however, clever marketing gimmicks don’t really work unless you can back it with solid products or services. You should aim to have a quality and eye-catching logo and graphics. The point is that these alone won’t differentiate you in a competitive market. You need to identify what you actually offer that’s different from the competition and get that across to your market. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

8. Not Going The Extra Mile

When setting your products and services apart from the competition, it’s important to consider how you can go the extra mile where other companies don’t. How can you be there for your customers more than other businesses are? What do they overlook that you can pay more attention to? Providing for your customers in ways that other businesses don’t will easily set your business apart in a positive way. Figure out how you can make them feel heard and apply their feedback to improve your strategy. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

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