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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb What do you do to differentiate yourself?

    I was recently in the process of selecting a retirement plan provider from a list of acceptable providers at work -- approximately 150 companies were available.

    As I reviewed the list of ~150 investment companies, it struck me that only three very familiar companies stood out to me. The three that stood out were Vanguard, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price, all companies that advertise extensively here in the U.S. and have a "good reputation."

    As I visited the web sites of the "unknown" investment companies, none of the unknowns particularly impressed me. None had anything obviously going for them, in terms of anything that they themselves stated on their web sites. "What differentiates them?" I wondered to myself.

    My question to business owners worldwide (in any industry) is: How do you differentiate yourself from the competition, especially via your web site?

    -mike
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  2. #2
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    I'm not in the web hosting industry, but the industry I'm in, I have to ask myself that question daily. What REALLY differentiates us from our competition. I can say we have better prices, but does that really do it? Nope. We can honestly say we have the best customer service, the most knowledgeable associates (because of constant training,) and the most caring associates/management. We pride ourselves knowing we can out smart our competition daily. We can easily beat prices, we can easily beat service, and we can also sell the benefits to us versus our competitors.
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  3. #3
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    IMO, one effective way to differentiate yourself in a market is to specialize in a specific niche.

    For instance, back in 2000, I started a retail gift site. Not wanting to even think of trying to compete with the global giants already out there, I decided to specialize in gifts that talk, sing, make a sound or are recordable. A few years later, I ended up with over 160 SKUs and had a great following of loyal customers.

    If you can manage to establish yourself as an authority in a niche, you will be way ahead (and easily differentiated from the pack).

    Vito
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vito View Post
    IMO, one effective way to differentiate yourself in a market is to specialize in a specific niche.

    For instance, back in 2000, I started a retail gift site. Not wanting to even think of trying to compete with the global giants already out there, I decided to specialize in gifts that talk, sing, make a sound or are recordable. A few years later, I ended up with over 160 SKUs and had a great following of loyal customers.

    If you can manage to establish yourself as an authority in a niche, you will be way ahead (and easily differentiated from the pack).

    Vito
    VERY well put!
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  5. #5
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    In my 'non web hosting' business I seem to have had the 'correct' balances of
    'personal but professional', 'flexable but no BS', 'value but not cheap', 'informed but not arrogant'.

    Which resulted in 99.9% of my work coming from personal recommendations.

    Unfortunately [after 20 plus years] I'm no longer able to do that business.
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  6. #6
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    To differentiate I do, dy over dx then yeah yeah yea... oh you mean myself? Erm... I be myself
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadonSys Shamil View Post
    To differentiate I do, dy over dx then yeah yeah yea... oh you mean myself? Erm... I be myself
    Oh I'm so glad you said that, i found it very hard not to say it.
    What fun I had at school I actualy thought calculas was 'interesting & clever - how sad.
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  8. #8
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    First off, awesome thread topic. I feel as a web design and development my designs alone leave an impact with companies and clients. They see first hand how my designs stand out among other freelancers and agencies. I also feel the quality I provide with each service no matter how big or small gives people satisfaction and piece of mind.
    We develop brand identity for the web.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    In my 'non web hosting' business I seem to have had the 'correct' balances of
    'personal but professional', 'flexable but no BS', 'value but not cheap', 'informed but not arrogant'.

    Which resulted in 99.9% of my work coming from personal recommendations.

    Unfortunately [after 20 plus years] I'm no longer able to do that business.
    Sounds very cool, Brian. What kind of business was that business?

    -mike
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    Sounds very cool, Brian. What kind of business was that business?

    -mike
    If I told you that, I'd have to kill you
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    If I told you that, I'd have to kill you
    Sadness, Brian. Okay.

    -mike
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    My question to business owners worldwide (in any industry) is: How do you differentiate yourself from the competition, especially via your web site?
    I've tried to make my hosting site as personal as possible, without going too far. Too many host's sites seem very generic, and non personal. I've always tried to take the more personal approach, with pics and personal info etc. People like doing business with other people, so I think this has been a help over the years in hosting.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
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  13. #13
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    I am Turkish and living in a small Japanese town.
    Not much afford needed for me to be different
    Closed for winter...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    Oh I'm so glad you said that, i found it very hard not to say it.
    What fun I had at school I actualy thought calculas was 'interesting & clever - how sad.
    ah calculus :/ At least chemistry has less of it in it
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadonSys Shamil View Post
    ah calculus :/ At least chemistry has less of it in it
    But Calculus lets you do so much...

    -mike
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    But Calculus lets you do so much...

    -mike
    heh, I'm getting it in Maths A-Level.. .
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadonSys Shamil View Post
    heh, I'm getting it in Maths A-Level.. .
    A level !
    by george you kids get it easy, next thing you know you'll be allowed calculators instead of 'slide rules' !
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    A level !
    by george you kids get it easy, next thing you know you'll be allowed calculators instead of 'slide rules' !
    As a teacher, part of me wants to make my kids use slide rules ...

    -mike
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    As a teacher, part of me wants to make my kids use slide rules ...

    -mike
    IF you did that, they would kill you
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    IF you did that, they would kill you
    I should do it as a joke.

    Anyone have a few old slide rules??

    -mike
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