In today’s dense market of startups, many companies’ missions and brands are almost duplicates of one another and standing out can be difficult.This does not mean a company will distinguish themselves enough to find market success—they just have to be more creative.

In addition to a good idea and creativity, startups need proper preparation and research before launching into the market. Accordingly, here are five ways to differentiate your startup and rise above the copycats:

  1. Understand the Competition

Part of the process in focusing your company’s goals is concentrating on the competition early on. Gather information, case studies, and other informative material. Use this material to gauge your competition. This process is not only about comparing and contrasting, however. Utilize a SWOT analysis to determine your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. With proper information you can make a polished decision about positioning your brand and message.

  1. Define Your Brand Strategy

Having a brand strategy puts you ahead of other emerging companies in your industry. Understanding what you want to provide and accomplish early on reflects well on your company. It also allows you to differentiate your startup offerings from your competition and creates a base for exceptional client relationships.

Take ample time to design and create your logos, messaging, and style. Once a branding decision is made, stick with it and maintain brand coherence. Indecisive brands do not stand out.

  1. Resonate with Your Target Audience

You want to know as much about your target audience as possible. You want to recognize their needs, desires, and motivations. By cultivating your brand and messaging to feed your target audience, you will build your client base and revenue stream.

Invest in client outreach programs, early product promotions, and other customer relations. Build your brand and messaging on clear, supportive communication. Stick to the old adage, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” The best and most successful companies have fantastic client relationships and positive client reviews.

  1. Provide Customer Value

Once you have a firm knowledge of audience and competition, you can address your value. Expressing the value of your company’s offerings through your company message is the best way to build brand equity. Of course you must project an image of value as well, as perceptions become reality.

Follow up on your messaging and actively demonstrate your company’s resolve to live up to and exceed the value you provide.

  1. Set a Realistic Scope of Business

In a Forbes article, Jeff Thermond, Venture Partner at XSeed Capital, says “the scope of your idea matters a great deal. Too small an idea means copycat competitors, race to the bottom pricing, and a company which (at best) may throw off a few million dollars a year of profits but will not produce a big pop for the investors in a short period of time. Too big an idea may require so much capital that the return on the capital can never make up for the riskiness of the asset class.”

Scope is about realistic expectations and the facilitation of those expectations. The previously mentioned points fold into the implementation of your companies’ scope as well, and it is imperative to map out your project with all the key players.

By following these recommendations, you can feel secure that your startup brand will outshine the others.

Should you have any questions or would like more information about how to differentiate your startup brand, message or marketing, contact us.

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