How to Identify Your Point of Difference
Think of yourself as a brand. Think of your job skills as product features and brand attributes.
What makes your brand different?
If you need customers (in this case, a “customer” is a potential employer) then you need to show why your “brand” is the best, and why they should not even consider another brand.
This is a vital part of your marketing strategy, as mentioned in section A. If you work out your Point of Difference (your POD) you will be one step closer to positioning yourself correctly within the marketplace. You will work out essentially:
WHAT you’ve GOT and WHO can USE it
You need to keep this simple. Make the message as uncluttered as possible to find out what will connect with your customers.
It needs to be simple and concise. Down load your free worksheet here: How to Identify Your POD_worksheet_alycevayleauthor2013
Exercise 1: Analyze Your Customer
What are your customer’s needs and desires?
- Get to know your customer.
- Do up a customer profile.
- 5 Key words to describe the customer.
- Think about this: what do they really want from you and your competitors’ products and services? Think of 3 main things.
- Think about what the customer’s rationale is. Why do they need these particular things from their products? Customers will be loyal to a brand that they feel emotionally attached to. How can you engender this feeling in your job search?
- To help you with this, think of brands or businesses you are loyal to and ask yourself why. Are they up-to-date, a good fit, always on time, always consistent? Think of attributes and characters that you have that can be unique selling points.
Exercise 2: Identify Your Strengths, Think about Competitors’ Weaknesses
- You may not have any idea about who your competition will be, but try to create a picture of them in your mind anyway. Would your competitor be male or female? Would he or she be older or younger than you? Would they have better industry knowledge, sharper technical skills?
- Now think of how you can trump them. What do you have to offer that is special, different and unique. You may not have impeccable Dreamweaver and Flash skills, but maybe you are great at spotting trends? Maybe you have a terrific contacts list? Write 10 – 20 things you are good at.
- Now cut the list down. For this exercise, we don’t need to come up with a very lengthy list. Focus on your top 2-4 attributes and really work on fleshing them out here with 2 or 3 good sentences you can remember for later.
Exercise 3: Your Features and Benefits
- The next thing you need to do is look at your key features as if you were a commodity. What does your product do or what does your service provide that has benefits to your customer?
- Think of your FEATURES: a feature is a factual statement about you, for example, “Has a degree in Marketing.”
- Think of your BENEFITS: a benefit is the part that lets the employer know what’s in it for them, for example, “Has specialised knowledge of Marketing Strategies and Consumer Behaviour.”
- You must link your customer to you by linking your BENEFITS to their VALUES. Write the top 3 or 4 matching points.
- Think of two reasons why your benefits outweigh your competitors’ benefits.
- Contact others who have dealt with you. See if ex-colleagues or bosses can help you to identify what they saw as your essential selling points.
Exercise 4: Uncovering Your POD
3 columns: Client’s Expectation versus your competitors, versus your skills
- Price, salary
- Age, gender, market
- Training, degree, study
- Customer service or management skills etc.
- The employee’s story (how, why or where they do business)
When you define your points of difference and market them well, getting yourself noticed is easier.