9 Ways to Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition (2023)

The primary goal of any marketing effort is to stand out, be seen and have a potential customers focus their attention on you. You want to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Your competition is trying to do that, too.

So, just exactly how can you put your brand, your product, and everything you do on a high-reaching pedestal?

Look better? Possibly.

Provide a huge selection? Perhaps.

Compete on pricing? Not always...

There are many ways that you can differentiate yourself from your competition, and they don’t all involve lowering your standards.

In fact, most of what we’ll touch on today is actually about bettering yourself!

Let’s take a look at 9 ways you can differentiate yourself from the competition:

1. Confident branding

Branding plays a huge role in establishing exactly who you are and what you do. And through that, comes trust.

High-quality, but most importantly, consistent branding can make you stand out from your competition.


Take a look a RedOxx Luggage.

9 Ways to Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition (1)

Their striking red logo stands out, doesn't it?

A similar font is echoed elsewhere on the website and is adapted for a niche range of products - safety bags.

The branding isbroad enough to appeal to multiple demographics (i.e.tradesmen, travellers, factory workers, urban explorers...anyone who wants a darn strong bag).

What’s more, this branding is echoed throughout all social media and product pages.

Their inclusive and consistent branding doesn’t scream obnoxiously loud at the reader, but it stands out and is memorable.

2. Be the best at something

Think back to when you received the best customer service in your life. Being the absolute best at customer service in your industry is just one way to stand out from your competition.

What’s more, delighting your customers is almost an investment in marketing, as your happy customer will no doubt spread your name amongst friends.

But what are some other areas that you can be the best in order to differentiate yourself?

Your returns policy.

Lupinepet is a small company that make harnesses, leashes, and collars for dogs (and cats!). Every single product is backed up by their lifetime ‘even-if-chewed’ guarantee.

9 Ways to Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition (2)

They stand out from their competition because of this offer. They know that one of the problems their customers have is that dogs like to chew their collars.

That can be an expensive habit for a dog owner. Lumiepet has essentially solved their customers’ problem by offering a lifetime guarantee. No questions asked.

This makes a potential customer lean towards them when comparing them to a rival brand.

By the way, offering a guarantee or buyer protection is always a good idea for boosting conversion rates!

Other ways to "be the best at something" can be:

  • your environmental stance towards being green
  • your sources of materials
  • where your products are produced, etc.

3. Don’t compare yourself to your competition

Rolls Royce doesn't compare themselves to Ford, nor do Nordstrom compare themselves to H&M.


Because they’re two completely different brands that sell a product at completely different ends of the scale.

88% of buyers now research products online before buying.

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Source: shutterstock.com/patpitchaya

YouTube, Amazon reviews and other comparison websites have made it really easy for people to get to know all about you before they commit to you.

But nothing will degrade your perceived value more than putting yourself directly next to a competitor.

You don’t need to bring attention to your competitors, as people who are interested in your brand but are tempted by another, will do all the comparing they have to.

Keep your marketing efforts focussed on you, not your competitors.

4. Tone of voice

Inside your branding assets or design catalogue should be a clear and concise definition of your brand’s tone of voice.

Establish whether you’re more mature and serious like an online banking platform, or more playful and cheery like the email marketing platform, MailChimp.

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As you can see, tone of voice is more than just voice. Mailchimp’s humour is echoed over into the imagery of their Chimp that’s literally sweating about pushing the ‘send’ button.

You can see their tone of voice in a picture.

Take a look below to see what luggage brand Away does on their product pages:

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With no words, Away brings a little humour into a pretty dry product - luggage.

This sets them miles apart from all their other competition (no pun intended).

Recommended reading:
What Does a Perfect Product Page Look Like?

5. Packaging

Your product packaging is the only piece of marketing that reaches 100% of your customers.

Therefore, it’s important that your product packaging not only echoes your branding but that it also stands out.

Unboxing videos are becoming more and more prevalent on YouTube, partially because so many people now look for reviews of a product before committing to a purchase.

Done right, a fan’s unboxing video can be a great piece of marketing for you.

Front and centre in an unboxing video is...you guessed it, the box.

By using quality product packaging, you’re making sure that any customer, or anyone that sees an unboxing video of your product, remembers your branding.

They’ll also remember your product, and most importantly, your brand name.

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6. Charity

One unique selling point of your brand may be that you’re environmentally friendly. You may be sourced from renewable sources, your materials may be completely recyclable.

Similarly, your products may be for children, or animals, the disabled, severely ill or senior citizens.

If your product or you personally have anything to do with what’s mentioned above, consider working with a charity.

Steel Blue workboots, an Australian shoe company worked closely with mental health charity, beyondblue to raise money for mental health.

They even went so far as to create a limited edition boot to raise awareness.

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Because Steel Blue knew their target customer, blue-collar males, are least likely to discuss mental health problems.

With this, both Steel Blue and beyondblue had their names thrust in front of an audience who had never heard of them before.

Social responsibility can be a very powerful marketing tool.

7. Transparency

When price is a major factor amongst your competition, but you yourself cannot go any lower on price, consider showing just where your money goes.

Buffer is one company that is incredibly transparent. To ensure that customers know exactly where their money is going, they’re able to see...well, every single aspect of the company.

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In the Buffer ‘‘transparency dashboard’, you’re able to see things like team salaries, revenue, the product roadmap, even what each employee is reading in their downtime.

Does this sound like something a lot of companies would do?

Of course not.

But by being transparent and saying to the world ‘look at our sensitive data’, Buffer is standing out from their competitors.

8. Have variations

This is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition, but you need to know your competition quite well.

Once you’re certain that your product is superior in every way it can be, offer more varieties of it.

For example, colour.

If your competition offers a competing product in five colours, find a way to offer your version of the product with 10 colour options.

This is an especially good tactic if you sell your products on a marketplace like Amazon or eBay.

That’s because you’re placed literally right next to your competition.

In the below example, you can see exactly that. A product for sale (i.e. a Jansport bag)on Amazon, with a lot of colour variants - and it’s competition directly below it.

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By offering more choices, more variety, or a wider range of options for your products, your brand is standing out. You’re making yourself the best option in what may be a flooded market.

9. Learn as you grow

This final point isn’t about standing out, but it’s instead about continuing to stand out as you grow.

One natural side-effect of growing is that you tend to discover more about your customer. You learn more about their problems and you see to what extent their problems change.

Therefore to be consistently standing out, it’s important that you regularly reassess your position and check how else you can stand out.

This may mean that you have to study your competitors more closely. It may mean going through a rebranding phase.

But like any business owner knows, not growing, changing and adapting to the market can quickly bring about your end.

Recommended reading:
How to Differentiate Your Shop from Competitors Selling the Same Products

What do you think?

At the end of the day, not everyone who sees your product is going to love it.

Differentiating your business is all about being unique and memorable while presenting yourself to potential customers who may value you.

What other ways do you think a brand like yours can stand out? What does it take to be seen in a flooded market?

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9 Ways to Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition? ›

These can be professional skills, areas of expertise, personal qualities, or any relevant experience. Also, consider any impressive accomplishments from your past or career goals that speak to your commitment to the field.

What separates you from the competition? ›

These can be professional skills, areas of expertise, personal qualities, or any relevant experience. Also, consider any impressive accomplishments from your past or career goals that speak to your commitment to the field.

What are some ways in which you can differentiate yourself from other participants? ›

7 tips: This is How You Stand Out Amongst Your Competitors
  • Meet your target market's challenges with solutions. A good way to get more participants is to address and solve their challenges. ...
  • Find and use your USP. ...
  • Stand out visually. ...
  • Highlight good customer reviews. ...
  • Provide the best customer service.
Jun 15, 2019

How would you answer questions about your competition? ›

How to Answer Questions About Your Competition
  • Don't talk bad about competition. There's a lot of risk when it comes to talking behind your competitors' backs. ...
  • Focus on your strengths. Whenever I'm asked about our competition, I always start by saying with a couple facts I know about the company. ...
  • Get personal.
Nov 14, 2014

How are you different from the competition answer? ›

Set yourself apart, highlighting your strengths

The key here is setting yourself apart from other candidates, focusing on your strengths. It is important to mention any assets that may improve your chances of getting a job. Depending on the position you're applying for, your answer will differ.

How do I get out of my competition mindset? ›

How to avoid being overly competitive at work
  1. Analyze what causes your competitiveness. ...
  2. Build your confidence. ...
  3. Focus on self-improvement. ...
  4. Foster better relationships with your coworkers. ...
  5. Collaborate purposefully. ...
  6. Compete with yourself.
Jun 24, 2022

How can I be better than my competitors? ›

How to Handle Competition in Business: 7 Tips to Beat Competition
  1. Know Your Customers.
  2. Understand the Competition.
  3. Highlight Your Difference.
  4. Clarify Your Message.
  5. Explore Strategic Partnership Opportunities.
  6. Keep Innovating.
  7. Look After Your Team.

How have you differentiate yourself from your peers? ›

Here are 8 steps you can take to differentiate yourself from your colleagues, and be noticed.
  1. Set clear, manageable career goals. ...
  2. Focus on your strengths. ...
  3. Make an effort to help others. ...
  4. Seek out opportunities to up-skill. ...
  5. Voice your ideas when you feel you have something good. ...
  6. Become part of the company. ...
  7. Be Enthusiastic.
Jan 17, 2017

What is differentiation between self and others? ›

Self-differentiation involves being able to possess and identify your own thoughts and feelings and distinguish them from others. It's a process of not losing connection to self while holding a deep connection to others, including those you love whose views may differ from yours.

How can I learn from my competition? ›

Research the Competition

The first thing you'll want to do, if you want to learn from your competitors, is to find out who they are. Depending on what line of work you're in, you may not have hardly any competitors, anyway, but finding out for sure is the first step to taking advantage of their experience.

How do you identify your competition? ›

You can get clues to the existence of competitors from:
  1. local business directories.
  2. your local Chamber of Commerce.
  3. advertising.
  4. press reports.
  5. exhibitions and trade fairs.
  6. questionnaires.
  7. searching on the Internet for similar products or services.
  8. information provided by customers.

How do you analyze your competition? ›

A competitive analysis involves four key steps:
  1. Identify your competitors. This sounds straightforward, but in fact there are different kinds of competitors to consider. ...
  2. Gather information about your competitors. ...
  3. Analyze your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. ...
  4. Determine your competitive advantage.

What is competition vs yourself? ›

Competing against yourself means you define success.

For starters, when you are competing with yourself, you decide what success means. This is more freeing than you might realize. Because you don't need to work for other people's expectations or judgments, you have a clear sense of what winning means for you.

What makes you different from others? ›

Personality traits, likes and dislikes, and life experiences all contribute to making someone different from everyone else. And that's what makes life interesting – discovering the differences between people and learning about new cultures and perspectives.

How do you stay mentally strong in competition? ›

  1. Grit. You can't have mental toughness if you don't have grit. ...
  2. Perseverance. By definition, perseverance is the act of continually pursuing a goal over a long time, regardless of obstacles. ...
  3. Long Term Goal Orientation. ...
  4. Stoicism. ...
  5. Act in Control. ...
  6. Don't Dwell on Mistakes. ...
  7. Enjoy Success, But Don't Savor it. ...
  8. No Complaining.
Jul 22, 2022

How do you overcome strong competition? ›

10 Tips and Strategies to Help You Beat Your Competition
  1. Know Your Customers. ...
  2. Solve Problems. ...
  3. Analyze Your Competition. ...
  4. Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) ...
  5. Refine Your Messaging. ...
  6. Consider New Markets. ...
  7. Focus on Customer Relationships. ...
  8. Ask for Feedback.
Nov 1, 2022

What are the four competitive strategies? ›

Here are four types of competitive strategy and an example for each:
  • Cost leadership strategy. ...
  • Differentiation leadership strategy. ...
  • Cost focus strategy. ...
  • Differentiation focus strategy.
Mar 10, 2023

Why is it important to be different from competitors? ›

If you are different, and in an authentic, meaningful way, you will be able to base your price off of the unique value you give, and since this difference is unique to you, it will be much harder to copy or undercut for your competitors.

What are the 3 types of competitors? ›

What are the 3 Types of Competitors?
  • Direct Competitors.
  • Indirect Competitors.
  • Replacement Competitors.

What is successful differentiation strategy? ›

A differentiation strategy is an approach businesses develop by providing customers with something unique, different and distinct from items their competitors may offer in the marketplace. The main objective of implementing a differentiation strategy is to increase competitive advantage.

What is competitive differentiation strategy? ›

Competitive differentiation is a strategic positioning tactic an organization can undertake to set its products, services and brands apart from those of its competitors.

What is an example of self-differentiation? ›

For Example- if we grow up in a family in which everyone maintains attachment (or has only brief disconnects) in spite of having different thoughts and feelings, we can begin to self-differentiate.

What are the characteristics of differentiation of self? ›

Four indicators of differentiation of self have been developed: ability to take an I-position, emotional reactivity, emotional cut-off, and fusion with others (Kerr & Bowen, 1988; Skowron & Friedlander, 1998).

What is self differences? ›

1. Self-concept differentiation refers to an individual's tendency to view oneself as possessing different personality characteristics across different social roles or contexts (Donahue et al. 1993).

How do you separate yourself from competition in business? ›

Proactive Ways to Distinguish Your Small Business from Competitors
  1. Focus on a Niche. ...
  2. Support a Cause. ...
  3. Have Surprises. ...
  4. Provide Extraordinary Service. ...
  5. Focus on Your Key Features and Benefits. ...
  6. Create a Powerful Offer. ...
  7. Create Brand Evangelists.
Dec 13, 2016

What makes you stand out from others? ›

Standing out often comes from hard, consistent work. Attitude. There's no denying that positive people have better relationships. Keeping an upbeat attitude and being pleasant to be around can really make you stand out from everyone around you, especially if you're surrounded by toxic people.

How do you stand out from a competition interview? ›

5 Ways to Stand Out in Your Next Job Interview
  1. 1) Avoid talking about what you're not.
  2. 2) Tell a story about yourself.
  3. 3) Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
  4. 4) Don't hide who you are.
  5. 5) Pose thoughtful questions to your hiring manager.
Jul 1, 2022

What does it mean to set yourself apart from the competition? ›

It means being clear and open about your goals, motivations, and mission at the workplace. By being open about your achievements and hopes for the future, you'll open up lines of communication that can create opportunities.

What are the three main qualities that will make you stand out? ›

Top Characteristics You Need to Stand Out in an Interview
  • Self-Awareness. ...
  • Humanity. ...
  • Enthusiasm. ...
  • Confidence.
Feb 21, 2017

What qualities should a person have to stand out? ›

10 Qualities that Will Make You Stand out in a Crowd
  • Honesty. While white lies are common, there's something refreshing about people who can speak the truth. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Reliability. ...
  • Optimism. ...
  • Determination. ...
  • Independence. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Passion.
Mar 17, 2023

What makes your self special? ›

Your unique gifts and skills, the pieces of your personality, your life experiences, knowledge, and emotions. These qualities that make you unique can be honed, improved upon, and made to grow as you grow and learn along your life journey. YOU are NOT condemned to a particular outcome.

What makes you stand out from the crowd sample answer? ›

You can mention unique technical skills/hard skills, soft skills, key personality traits, experiences, personal attributes, or any other factor that makes you an exceptional candidate… and different from other job seekers You could also mention a reason that you're passionate about this industry/work, if that's true.

What makes you stand out from the rest answers? ›

Appreciate others

Most people do not appreciate others because of their personal ego problems or the jealousy factor. If you wanna stand out from the rest. Even if you do not like that person, but that person is worthy of some appreciation then do it. Nobody is going to tax you on that.

What does stand out of the competition mean? ›

to be much better than other similar things or people: We had lots of good applicants for the job, but one stood out from the rest. Visible.


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