One of the most important things you need to consider as you prepare to take a product or service to market is, “What is my competitive advantage?” It is critical to know the how and why of where you stand out amongst the competition.Without a good understanding of your key differentiators and defining a competitive advantage, you certainly run the risk of being dropped into the oblivion that is commodity. Once you are simply seen as a generic commodity, it all becomes about price. Then again, could a component of your competitive advantage actually be a premium price? Why yes, yes it can! In fact, a price higher than those of your competitors can actually be a blessing in the way you, your company, and your products and services are viewed, as this adds the factor of “exclusivity” and “luxury.”
Using Your Website as a Competitive AdvantageLet’s take a look at the example of a new website design. When it comes to websites, the pricing variance can be quite extreme. There are options that can be almost free and those that run into the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. The range can be literally dizzying. Every business needs a website, so this must mean it’s just be another commodity product, right? Actually, the reality is far from it. Think of it this way: Your website is the literal face of your company. It is the way the vast majority of people will experience your business for the first time. Remember the old adage, “You only get one chance to make a first impression?” Even if you did forget that one, here is another thought that you want to keep close: When someone visits your website for the first time, they do not leave it neutral. After their time there, site visitors will either feel more positive about a business than before they came to the site or they will fell less comfortable. It is just that rudimentary. Not only that, research has shown that you only have about 9 seconds to affect that visitor’s experience because that is the average online attention span. Along with needing to make those 9 seconds count, we also have to consider what our website looks like and what kind of experience it will deliver on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. With these devices accounting for over 60% of all internet traffic, the site experience on these devices means more than ever, and the importance of having a mobile-friendly responsive website will only continue to grow. Let’s add in one more factor to this equation – what if someone does a search and never finds your website in the first place? Think about the costs of being invisible online and not even having the chance to step up to the plate. Visibility from proper SEO is yet another factor to consider.
Putting It All TogetherOk, that was a lot to take in, so let’s review:
- An exceptional web presence has become critical for all businesses in today’s economy.
- You have only a few seconds to connect and engage with visitors or run the risk of losing them as prospective clients.
- You need to have a strategy for every device a person may be using to interact with your site.
- There are dozens of factors and things that need to be done exactly the right way in order to be found in an online search.