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How to create a valuable company difference

Everyone chooses a supplier for a reason

  • I chose the garage I bought my car from because it had the widest range of available stock.
  • I chose Apple as my IT provider because, as someone who is hopeless at the technical side of things, I’ve never had a problem setting up a device.
  • I buy my chocolate from the supplier I consider offers the best flavours.

Why do your customers choose you as a supplier?

Having the right company difference is vital

Unfortunately, when it comes to creating difference, many companies get it wrong! One of the most important factors to consider when creating your company difference is whether it is valuable to your prospects and customers.

Companies that create a valuable difference are much more likely to create a stronger relationship with their customers. Their clients will understand why they have chosen this supplier. It is easier for the supplier to achieve long-term and valuable client partnerships.

Companies that create a generic difference that has no value to the buyer will struggle to achieve this type of relationship. Their prospects and customers are more likely to see the difference as “marketing fluff” rather than a reason to choose this supplier.

How do you stand out from the competition in a way that matters to the buyer?

How do you stand out from the competition in a way that matters to the buyer?

Here are two differences which have no value for a buyer

The first of these differences is service. Many printing companies claim that it is their service that sets them apart. However, all buyers expect good service. They will tend to ignore claims that printing companies will “go the extra mile”. That is because they expect their print suppliers to do this anyway! These days, the majority of printing companies do indeed offer good service. Service is no longer a differentiator when you are trying to attract new customers.

The second difference that has no value to the majority of buyers is quality. Again, buyers expect printing companies to offer good quality commercial print. Again, most printing companies deliver on this promise. Most customers are not looking for a higher level of quality in their print. Unless you are dealing with auction houses, fine art companies or similar, the offer of better quality is likely to go unnoticed.

Here are three types of difference which do make a buyer sit up and take notice

Market sector specialisation

If you are providing more complex print services, perhaps tied in with design or fulfilment, then many buyers will place value on you having expertise in their market. Which company is a buyer more likely to trust? A generalist printer or a printing company that has a specific market understanding of the buyer’s industry?

You do not have to specialise purely in one market sector. But it can definitely help if you can tell a prospect about how you deal with two or three similar types of company to them.


If you can offer something that the competition cannot, buyers will be interested. These days, it is not hard for most companies to be able to produce the same print items as most of the competition. Therefore, the product needs to be a mixture of a service and print. Can you offer a method of stock management or fulfilment that other companies cannot? Do you have a specialist finishing process? Or an unusual way of integrating print and digital?

Remember, you do not have to carry out all this in-house. You can create a unique product offering in conjunction with the right partners.


Sometimes it’s not about what you are creating, but how you are creating it. Can you demonstrate to a customer that you do things differently and better to the competition? If so, you are much more likely to be able to start a meaningful conversation with your prospects.

Often companies do not realise the value of their processes to their customers. Remember that it is not about your internal workflow. The process is much more likely to be about how you liaise with your customer.

Here is an important point to remember about difference

Make sure that you shout about your difference. Many people expect their prospects and customers to understand what it is that makes them stand out. In reality, most prospects and customers need to be constantly reminded of what it is that makes you better than your competitors. Your difference should be an early part of your sales proposition.

It’s time to put difference into practice

  • Firstly, review your current clients list. Do you have industry specialisations? Should you be targeting similar new customers?
  • Secondly, have a look at the products and services that your customers are buying from you. Are you offering something unusual? Could you create a new and unusual service for your customers?
  • Thirdly, review how you deal with your customers. What do you do that sets you apart from the competition?

If you review these three things, you are likely to find that your difference will suddenly appear! if not, it may be time to sit down and create your difference.

Remember, everyone chooses a supplier for a reason. Make sure your difference gives prospects a reason to choose you.Do you have difference that works for you? Please tell us in the comemnts box below.

PS Are you looking for other simple but effective strategies to help you connect with today’s buyers? Download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week.

Download your free copy of “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” (worth £19/$29) right now


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Download your free copy of 10 Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them (worth £19/$29) right now

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