4 Key Tactics to Stand Out from the Crowd
As a member of the pizza industry (and especially if you’re a shop owner), you know that generally, the pizza market is very saturated. Over the years, pizza’s popularity has grown and the number of shops in both urban and suburban areas has followed suite. No matter where you go, you’re bound to find a shop close by, and even more quickly by just typing “pizza near me” into Google. Especially if your shop is in a city or other largely populated area, it’s easy to get caught up in competition and become lost in an overly saturated market.
Technically defined, market saturation is the stage within a product life cycle where the good or service is made available to customers at such a large extent, that it’s hard to separate the competition. While we know this frustrates many shop owners, we have four key tactics your business can use to stand out among competitors. Take a look and try them out if you feel you’re not often your audience’s top choice.
1. Find Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
A unique selling point (USP) is the benefit of your business that separates you from competitors. This can be anything about your shop – its location, service, pizza, other food offerings, brand, design, staff, and more. The most important thing to keep in mind when developing or expanding on your USP is your customer. Your USP shouldn’t just be a passing thought, but a confident difference that’s data-backed and defendable. It’s the key difference between you and other shops, and why your customers choose to frequent yours over others.
If you don’t currently have a USP or just aren’t sure what it is, think about what brings your customers in and what they talk about. What type of interactions do you have with them? What unique product are they drawn to? Focus on whatever quality of your shop has success and accent it to stand out amongst the competition, and if there isn’t something particular that does, test some things out, like adding a unique menu item, changing up the look of your store, or implementing a brand refresh. If you’re creating a USP, make sure the benefit to your customer is not only clear to you, but to them as well. If defined well, the USP will ultimately increase brand recognition, and increase customer generation.
2. Focus on Your Niche
Differentiating your pizza shop’s brand in a sea of shops can be difficult, but adding a niche market to your target audience can boost your chances of being chosen. Try positioning your business to specialize in a specific type or style of pizza that guarantees you a market that is less touched by competitors. For example, maybe you offer “Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza” in a city where the pizza shops are mostly focused on Neapolitan.
Niche markets can bring authentic visibility. What do we mean by this? Your consumers will recognize your niche market as the one and only and the best, which will build brand recognition and equity. And even better – this popularity in your target audience will affect your brand recognition outside of your niche market as well.
3. Perfect Your Pricing Strategy
As little as a 1% improvement in price optimization results in an average boost of 11.1% in profits – yes, you read that right. Simply changing your pricing structure can truly determine your shop’s brand recognition and overall success. But, with so many different pricing strategies, it’s important to recognize the most common and think about what would be most effective for your particular shop:
- Cost Plus Pricing: Simply marking the product higher than the cost to produce
- Competitive Based Pricing: Adjusting your prices to remain competitive in your saturated market
- Valued Based Pricing: Utilizes customer data to help determine appropriate prices
No matter what pricing strategy you choose, pricing requires attention to detail to remain competitive. Don’t just price based on your purchases and loose estimates. Think through your area, audience, and what your pie is truly worth.
4. Make Allies, Not Competitors
74% of companies are open to supporting opponents as a means for building brand or category awareness. So, don’t be afraid to connect with and build relationships with other shops around you or a few towns over. These relationships – weak or strong, will ultimately build your shop’s image and strengthen your brand. Friendly competitors will also often send customers your way (and vice versa) if their shop can’t meet their customer’s needs (aka, a niche pizza as we noted above). Creating allies also offers your shop opportunities for joint events and multi-store promotions.
Even if you’ve implemented all of the strategies above and are ahead of the game, it’s always good to continuously look for consumer feedback within your market. Especially because customers are the key factor in brand recognition and equity, and what they’re looking for today can easily change as quick as tomorrow.
If you’re not quite there yet with differentiation in a saturated market – think creatively. Try adding new images, products, ideas, and practices and see what works and what doesn’t. And, as a quick shameless plug, try reaching new customers in your area through ZaHub’s direct mail 2.0.
More generally, if you’re looking for ways to integrate these tactics into your next marketing campaign and stand out from the crowd, give us a call!