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Standing Out From the Crowd (Posted by Michelle Mone OBE, Founder of Ultimo)

Tue, 23 December 2014

The aim of any business is to sell more than your competitors. But for this to happen, you need to remind your customers why they should buy from you rather than a rival.
So ask yourself, what is it about your firm that is distinctive?
 
When I first launched Ultimo I had very little money to market my business; however, I knew that I had a unique proposition that would help me stand out from the crowd – patented silicone technology adding two whole bra cup sizes. What is special and different about my product? Who will buy it? Why is it better? These were the important questions I asked myself.

It's amazing how many companies are doing interesting things and nobody knows about it. Over the past week alone, I’ve come across a handful of products and businesses that have blown me away – and that I’ve never heard of before.

Of course, processes and systems, great staff and service levels are all hugely important ingredients in your business – but if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to stand out, differentiate yourself from the competitors and make your message clear.

Differentiation is about understanding where you fit best and can deliver the most value. Every business is very different and there is no “one size fits all” strategy. Also, trying to appeal to everyone is dangerous territory. Lots of businesses shy away from being “niche”, because they are afraid of alienating potential customers, but if you are really good at what you do, customers are far more likely to come to you for your unique expertise.

Finally, when it comes to standing out, you just have to take that leap of faith – and it can be terrifying. When I first launched Ultimo on a shoestring budget, I pulled together a group of actors to play surgeons and “protest” outside Selfridges against Ultimo – as our silicone competed with breast augmentation! We gained global coverage that lead to massive deals with various companies, and the rest is history.  

So, what does it take to stand out? By now, you get the idea – be different, be creative and know who you are. Strive to provide things that your competitors do not and don’t be afraid.    

 

About Michelle Mone

Michelle is one of the UK's most successful female entrepreneurs and founder of international lingerie brand, Ultimo. She is also the ambassador for the Kalixa Pro Spirit of Small Business Awards. The award-winning 'Bra Queen' and co-owner of Ultimo Brands International has built her success on determination, self-belief and hard work which led her to be voted as Britain's Number One most powerful woman in business by Glamour magazine as well as receiving an OBE from The Queen in 2010 in recognition of her services to UK business.
 
You can find out more about the Kalixa Pro Spirit of Small Business Awards on Twitter @KalixaPro. You can also follow Michelle on Twitter @MichelleMone
 

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