In a crowded marketplace, finding your niche and making yourself heard can be difficult.  Marketing in a well-developed industry in particular is difficult, since you can’t do a lot of things that are cutting-edge.  In any competitive marketplace, the key is to avoid becoming a commodity.  Without customer loyalty, you’ll always be at risk of being undercut, but even in mature industries, there are ways you can differentiate your product or service.  Here are some tricks you can use to stand out amongst your competitors, based off an article that I found on entrepreneur.com:

Superior customer service: While every business likes to talk about its great customer service, you should think about the best customer service you’ve ever received.  Imagine an employee who knows the names of every customer, knows about their businesses and families and their unique challenges or preferences.

Crowded Market

Superior customer experience: In the same vein, customer experience is about providing a meaningful flourish that your competitors may not have.  Think about a car dealership that provides free soda for people who wait on an oil change.  If you can provide amenities that make the process of visiting your business a more enjoyable experience, then go for it.

Superior service offerings: In a more developed industry, options for innovations can seem limited.  Yet if you can truly listen to your customers, then they could give you hints about offerings that they value.  What can you do to make benefits that matter, and then expand those in a meaningful way?  While every pizzeria vowed to work fast, it was Domino’s who offered a 30-minute guarantee.  Can you guarantee something, or offer an extra service that others aren’t?

Superior quality: What can you do to create a reputation for your business as the quality provider?  You could create ironclad guarantees, work on training your staff, offer your services for free on the condition that you can advertise it, the choices are endless.  Being known for your quality is a powerful investment in the overall success of your business.

Superior data: Data could be your competitive edge.  This might sound overwhelming, but big data isn’t the only kind of data that’s out there.  Something simple as an accurate customer database can be a powerful tool; encouraging customers to share their contact information with you and giving them a good reason to do so, gives you a great way to stay in touch with them and service their needs better.