Why your competitors' marketing strategies won't work for you

You remember things that stand out from the crowd.  It’s how Nirvana revolutionised rock music and what attracted worldwide audiences to Gogglebox.  These trend-setters grabbed attention by offering something new, something unexpected, something that surprised audiences.  And their unique approach made them rich and famous.

It’s much easier to follow the status quo.  Anyone can identify what is successful at the moment and emulate that.  It doesn’t take much to look at what your competitors are offering and how they’re presenting it to the market and to do the same. But doing the same thing as everyone else isn’t going to get you noticed. 

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If you want your brand, product or service to stand out in a crowded marketplace you need to be brave enough to do things differently.  If your website looks just like your competitors’ site, if you’re running campaigns at the same time of year as everyone else and you’re producing the same kind of content as other providers in your sector, then you’re probably going to blend into the background rather than attract attention.  If you’ve never made an impression will your potential customers remember your company when they’re ready to spend some money?    

We’re not suggesting using cheap (or even expensive) gimmicks just to grab attention.  While gimmicks might get you noticed, most people quickly forget the brand behind them. The trick is to come up with unique ways to present your brand in a way that reinforces your message and demonstrates your value to potential customers.  If you make your message an intrinsic part of an attention-grabbing campaign, your customers will remember both the campaign and your brand.

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Being different isn’t always outlandish.  Your differentiator could be that your content stands out in a sea of thinly-veiled advertising by providing helpful information that answers your customers' questions, addresses their pain points and makes them better at their jobs.  It’s an approach that may not grab attention as quickly as other activations might, but it can be equally as effective in the long run.   

Being different isn’t easy.  It takes a lot of creative effort to produce campaigns that are relevant, engaging and memorable.  But it’s a lot more effective than knocking out the same stuff as everyone else, and, if you get it right, it could even make you rich and famous.    

Use these three simple questions to assess whether your next marketing activity has the potential to cut through the noise;

  • Would this attract my attention?
  • Would I want to engage with it?
  • Would I remember the brand at the end of the day?

And dare to be different.