When businesses look for ways to distinguish themselves from their competition, the first thing that usually comes to mind is price, followed by quality and perhaps, service. Offering lower prices than competitors is not usually a feasible strategy as many costs continue to rise. You may develop a loyal following until your prices are undercut by someone else. Competing based on quality and service is possible, if you have the resources to back up your claims. Let’s talk about another way to gain a competitive advantage.
Create a community around your product and its use. Social media and content marketing are good tools for doing this. For example, through a blog you can offer helpful information to your customers and prospects not designed to sell your product, but to enhance their knowledge of issues relevant to them. A flower shop owner could blog about caring for flowers, how to choose flowers as gifts for different occasions and other related topics.
When readers come to view you as a source of valuable information, you become an advisor rather than a vendor. When they need a product or service that you offer, it is easy for them to decide to buy from you.
Creating a community around your business can also involve establishing a forum where your customers can communicate with each other to share information, tips and support. Again, a blog is one of the easiest ways to do this, though it requires some time to set-up and maintain. You can also ask those following you if any of them would be willing to do articles or posts. This helps reduce your workload and gets your user community even more engaged with you on a level beyond simply purchasing from you. They can become your advocates and sing your praises in a way that you could never do yourself.