Industries such as technology, medicine and food are getting crowded as more startups emerge. In order to stand out as a startup in an already booming industry, you have to set your business apart from the others. Something about your business has to drive consumers to you instead of your competitors. Here are seven ways to help your startup stand out:
1. Be unique
While your startup may offer the same types of products as another, the actual offer still needs to be unique. To be unique, the product or service must have a standout attribute that the competition lacks. This attribute must provide a benefit and/or value to consumers.
2. Build an online reputation
A major mistake that startup founders make is not building an online reputation right from the start. Before even launching the startup, start building an online presence and audience. The way that you deliver information about your new company, why it was started and what sets it apart from the competition helps build that reputation. The way that you interact with consumers in transparent and private situations also builds rapport with consumers and the competition.
TIP: When building an online reputation, never bash the competition. That is a tactic that often causes startups to fail before ever turning a profit.
3. Attract prominent venture capitalists
To attract prominent venture capitalists (VCs) to fund your startup’s growth, display what your startup offers that others do not. Working with a VC often provides the necessary funding that a startup needs to fund a new project, increase its workforce and re-invest for company growth processes. A simple association with a well-respected name can help your startup stand out and become more successful.
4. Develop a solid mobile app
Create a strong, reliable and interactive mobile app for your startup. Provide access to a mobile-friendly version of your company’s website and unique features providing convenience and value to your consumer base. This can also be a platform to market unique promotions exclusively for mobile app users and attract more consumers. It is important, however, to fully test every function of your mobile app to make sure it is secure, fast and efficient prior to launching it for public download.
Much of the world accesses company information, searches for reviews and accesses the Internet on a mobile device. To maintain a successful startup, you have to stay updated and understand trends. Knowing what customers are going to expect in advance helps your new company get off to a stronger start upon official launch.
5. Unique sales and marketing approaches
A startup needs a talented chief marketing executive (CME) to ensure that its marketing strategy can meet the company’s goals. A CME, also known as a chief marketing officer (CMO), should be innovative in his/her approach, able to capitalize on the unique features of the brand and take advantage of the competition’s weaknesses – without bashing the competition. A unique approach to selling to a questionable market can help increase sales and open up new audience potential.
6. Share truthful content
Society likes to read success stories from real people. The results of polling top business-to-business (B2B) marketers concludes that 54 percent of B2B marketers agree that sharing real success stories is extremely effective. Overwhelming an audience with falsehoods and mistruths leads a startup to disaster. Provide real, honest information and be transparent in doing so. Share the founder’s story and how he/she chose to quit their day job and achieve their own personal dream. Stories like that are inspiring and attract larger audiences.
7. Adopt philanthropy
Consider making philanthropy a part of your startup’s business model. Consumers like companies that give back to local communities and organizations. It shows society that the startup is concerned not only with itself but also its local community. Even pledging a small amount of assistance is a step in the right direction as society understands that not all startups are rich and successful from the start.
Just as important as having a unique business model is hiring unique staff members. Your company culture has to be dynamic and full of creativity and innovative ideas to help the brand maintain its uniqueness. The startup has to have plans to increase its product line or services list over time and must be able to adapt to a changing society as well.
Taking all of this into account, what measures will you take to make your startup last in a crowded industry?