Each individual is unique. No two people are alike. The same goes for businesses. Be “sui generis”.
Sui Generis is a Latin phrase meaning, “of its own kind” or “unique in its characteristics”.
Rarely will there be a business that can be considered as unique with the products and services that it offers. A new and unique business may come out of nowhere and establish its brand. In time, customers will start patronizing the business. Sooner or later, someone else will open a business and offer the same products or services, but with a twist. This is inevitable. If a certain business is making money, others will follow suit. Humans are opportunists and where there is an opportunity to make money, expect others to join the bandwagon. Most, if not all, businesses will have a competitor sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time. It may be impossible to be totally unique for a long period of time, but it does not mean that your brand cannot keep its uniqueness in its own right.
When you do some research about “uniqueness” of business, you will come across the term “Unique Sales Proposition (USP)”. What is USP? The common definition is, “The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.” In simple terms, it’s what makes you brand different from your competitors. It’s what promotes your brand to stand out among the rest.
Ask yourself right now, “Is my brand standing out from the competition? Is there something that differentiates my brand from the rest? If so, what is it?
Do not stress yourself in becoming hugely different from your competitors. This is not the goal. There is no need to stand out from your competitors in all aspects of the business. What you need to focus on are the things that you can control and would have the biggest impact in your business like brand promise, quality of products and services, company/store policies, merchandise, retail store/website, etc. Be careful when you choose to use pricing as your differentiation from your competitors especially if it’s about having the lowest price. This is because having a lower price or even the lowest price is not a guarantee and some other businesses can always offer a much lower price that you cannot afford to compete with without having huge losses or worse going bankrupt. Customers won’t mind purchasing a product at SRP as long as they get good quality and excellent experience every time they transact business.
A very good example is Zappos. Online shopping websites will have their own gimmicks in attracting customers like discounted prices, freebies, free shipping and what not. Zappos is not known for having the lowest prices, but what makes it stand out from the competition is its return policy that others cannot compete with.
Remember that when you try to be different and stand out from the competition, you are also building a reputation for your brand and brand reputation needs to be strong and consistent. What you are establishing as your brand’s reputation is what you are telling your customers what your brand stands for.
Standing out and being different from the competition may seem to be a daunting task, but it is not impossible. Some businesses have already done it and have been successful at it. RetailWise USA will help you achieve this. We are very capable of researching and analyzing customer needs, purchasing behavior, competitor inclinations, and market trends through which we can advise you on the best area of your business to become “sui generis”.