How Unique Are You?

How Unique Are You?

A unique offering or targeting a niche market helps you stand out.

By Marcia Smith

Make your product unique

A product’s rarity or uniqueness can be an important factor in attracting customers, but only as part of a broader strategy.

Providing a niche product can make you very attractive to customers, as long as you’ve identified a genuine unmet demand, of course. This can also enhance your brand image, by positioning you as an expert or specialist business.

Perhaps the best example of a business succeeding at differentiation is Apple. With a tiny proportion of the home computing market compared with its great rival, Microsoft, Apple used brilliant product innovation, strong design principles, and clever marketing to make itself different and exciting.

Apple positioned themselves as the smart, cool trendsetters in what, to many, was a boring marketplace. With overnight queues around their stores and a frenzied media buzz whenever they launch a new product, there’s no doubt that they have successfully distanced themselves from much competition: few other technology companies come close.

However, the more attractive the product, the less likely it is to stay unique. Competitors will see what you’re doing and want to respond. That’s why it’s also important to think about the quality and price of your products, and about the overall customer experience you’re providing to give customers a reason to stay.

Appeal to a niche market

Identifying and capitalizing on a niche in the market can be one of the most powerful ways of of building the basis for your business..

Trying to appeal to every single potential customer is exhausting and impractical. Instead, by identifying an under-served segment of the market and providing a niche product or service, you can establish yourself as an expert, and as the number one provider meeting a specialist need.

Of course, when choosing a niche you do need to make sure that there’s a real gap in the market, and a genuine unmet demand amongst consumers. Also, it's vital that the niche you are looking at actually has separate demands from the broader market. As ever, marketing is essential — existing within a niche is hardly achieves much unless your product and marketing are both designed for the needs and problems of those in your market.

Don't be too different!

Differentiation is key to attracting customers – but a sensible approach is required.

Offering the same products at the same price as your competitors is never a good idea. You’ll be competing for the same, limited market segment and customers won’t have a good reason to switch to your brand.

Being distinctive is hugely important, and uniqueness will help you to stand out from your competitors. Take this to the extreme, however, and you might end up at the fringes of the market, losing customers.

The best approach is to maintain your core business and product range, whilst differentiating yourself from the competition in terms of quality, range and customer service.