Customer in a clothing boutique speaking with an employee.
From performing competitive analysis to creating a strong company culture, there are many ways to market your business so that your unique strengths show through to your customers. — Getty Images/pixdeluxe

When you’re operating in a highly competitive market, you need to know what sets your business apart from its competitors. Here are six ways to market your business in a competitive market.

Define your USP

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is the one thing that helps your business stand out. It’s a specific benefit your customers receive that they can’t get from any of your competitors. Your USP should play to your company’s strengths and speak to something your audience cares about.

For instance, Amazon’s USP is its mission to be “Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Customers can visit Amazon and find nearly anything they want to buy at an affordable price. This is what makes it stand out from other e-commerce sites.

Do competitive analysis

Competitive analysis can help you find ways to stand out and identify an unmet need in the market. You can learn a lot by studying your competitors and the products and services they offer.

Start by determining who your direct competitors are. Direct competitors are businesses that offer products or services that are similar to yours. Evaluate their products, marketing tactics, and pricing to see how they match up to yours.

As you compare their business model to yours, you should start to identify key differentiators and potential market gaps.

[Read more: 6 Steps to Performing a Competitive Analysis]

Invest in thought leadership

Thought leadership marketing is one of the best ways to differentiate your company from others in that same space. You can create thought leadership content by guest posting, publishing articles on LinkedIn or Medium, and doing speaking events.

Thought leadership content is usually created by the business owner or an executive at the company. And it’s especially effective for B2B companies, though it can also be helpful for B2C companies.

People want to do business with companies they trust. By focusing on thought leadership, you’re sharing your knowledge for free and building a relationship with your audience.

If you think of some of the most successful companies, you’ll notice that they often have one thing in common — they invest in company culture.

Know your customers

If you want to stand out in a competitive market, you need to understand what your customers and potential customers are looking for. Why do your customers do business with you? Are they looking for a lower price point, or are they motivated by convenience?

Make it a practice to regularly survey your customers and ask for their feedback. This will help you get insight into what’s working in your business and areas you could improve.

[Read more: 5 Best Practices to Follow When Surveying Your Customers]

Niche down

When starting your business, it’s tempting to try to be all things to all people. But you’ll make the most progress if you niche down and focus on your target customer above all else.

A niche is a small segment of the market that you focus on. For instance, if you run an e-commerce jewelry business, your niche could be focusing on making jewelry for new moms. A niche helps establish a loyal customer base and automatically differentiates your business from its competitors.

Make sure you spend some time doing customer research before settling on a niche. If your business is going to be profitable, your niche must be large enough that there’s substantial demand for what you’re offering.

Create a strong company culture

If you think of some of the most successful companies, you’ll notice that they often have one thing in common — they invest in company culture. Twitter, Google, and Zappos are known for their innovation and also for finding ways to keep their employees happy.

By investing in company culture, you’ll start to attract top talent to your business. You’ll have a team that can create innovative products and deliver exceptional service to your customers. And customers want to do business with companies that treat their employees well.

[Read more: 6 Companies With a Killer Company Culture]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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