Running a business is about more than providing excellent service. Service is important, but first you have to get people through your doors and to your website. Your marketing strategy is an important component, but there are certain elements of your brand that you should be highlighting to really drive the message home.

Create a USP

Every business needs a unique selling proposition (USP). If you have 23 specific methods of providing a service, brag about them from the tallest mountain. This is especially important if your competition can only offer 12. Discover what your customer base is lacking and emphasize how you can fill the gap. Identify what’s causing them pain and then show them your remedy. Integrate your USP into your marketing strategy as you see fit, using a catchphrase, for instance, or making the USP a part of your logo. Make it memorable.

Be Authentic

Your target audience wants to engage with real people. Let your clients see the real you. Post pictures of your pets and family vacations, perhaps finding creative ways to further attract your audience to your business. What else is your target audience interested in? Talk about more than just business, and don’t see your customers as mere dollar signs. Building relationships is the cornerstone of a loyal following.

Be Controversial

Now is not the time to play it safe. The current market is socially conscious and interested in sustainable practices, and people want to know where your business stands. It can be risky to take sides but it can be even more detrimental not to. Controversy creates interest, and people are busy taking hard lines. Clarifying where you stand could promote business with like-minded people that appreciate social conscience.

If you want to stand apart from every other business in your industry, you need to make a consistent effort to prove that you offer something different than everyone else. Quality will always reign and thinking outside the box can do more for your business than will simply slashing prices (although competitive pricing is something to consider). Find the strengths and weaknesses within your industry, and you’ll find where you will stand out the most. Everyone can offer the same service, but how you provide the service will be the differentiating factor.