This article is contributed by Bob William.
Every company should have a USP. This is your Unique Selling Point and it’s what sets your services and products apart from everyone else. Even if you provide a great service but it is no different from anyone else’s , then it will be incredibly hard to market and incredibly hard to make yourself stand out – or even to be remembered for that matter.
Have a Stand-Out Brand
Have a business plan, have a USP, and make sure that you are known for what it is that sets you apart from the competition. This way you will find people who need and appreciate what you provide and they will become loyal customers.
However while it’s good to have a USP and a vision, eventually this can start to look outdated. If you’ve gone the whole time with the exact same message and the exact same products, then eventually newer and better things will come along and you won’t be able to compete. So what do you do?
This is where many companies that feel they are becoming old-hat will rebrand. They’ll adopt a new logo, and they’ll make fundamental changes to the services and products they provide. Countless times you’ll have seen a company do this, but only sometimes is it a success.
Let’s look at Digg. This was a website that allowed people to share their favourite things online, but when Twitter and Facebook came out it suddenly started to look a bit old hat. In order to become competitive then, the company set about coming up with a whole new direction that would emulate these popular social networks and a new look that you might mistake for one of Twitter’s other products.
Unsurprisingly there was backlash as the company suddenly didn’t offer the same thing it used to – gone was the community element and gone was the ability to share sites in the same way or browse through other recommended sites at random. The most recent change even got rid of usernames and passwords. Understandably these moves upset a lot of loyal fans, and it did nothing to attract new visitors who could get the very same thing from Twitter.
Another example might be Samsung. While Samsung is still very competitive, in its attempt to compete with Apple it changed its image and its appearance so much that it became almost a clone of that company – and is now paying one billion dollars in damages as a result.
Doing it Right
The companies that do it right are the ones that manage to move forward and evolve but without losing that original USP and identity that made them unique. This is something Microsoft is doing well with its new direction – offering the slickness of iOS and Android with its new Windows 8 but keeping the focus on productivity and its office suit. Kodak meanwhile is another company that’s managed to evolve and move forward by providing analogue prints of digital pictures – but the overall message of quick and high quality photos has remained the same.
So if you have loyal followers and if you’ve had success in the past don’t abandon that. Stick to your guns and remember who you are, just think about how you can improve this for modern audiences while continuing to provide what your long-term loyal customers expect to receive.
Author Bio: Bob William is an active blogger who loves to write on marketing and finance. He suggests the aprimo marketing platform for those who seek marketing professionals.