Customers are establishing buying criteria before talking to vendors. To compete beyond price, vendors can create content that moves customers past the obvious checklist. Insight-led content can do this and should be a part of your company’s differentiation strategy.
In recent surveys of B2B buyers less than 15 percent see a big enough difference between suppliers to pay a premium. That’s a lot of companies competing on price alone. One way for your company to stand out is to create content that introduces new ideas that they haven’t thought of before. The ideas connect customer goals and lead to your differentiation value.
For example, Quaker Chemical, a provider of process fluids, recently rebranded the company to emphasize not only their expertise and solutions but also responsibility. One headline on the company website reads: ““Our Fluids Come With A Special Additive. Heart.” And, “Machine’s Quit. People Don’t.”
To get close enough to your customer so that they will pay a premium you need to know and understand a few things about them.
What are their top goals and hoped for outcomes?
What do they believe drive those outcomes?
How will the outcome affect them personally?
You can then connect the dots between their goals and your company’s unique value. Customers can’t or won’t do this on their own. Prominent in your messaging is what you’ve discovered to be the customer’s top concern and your unique ability to address that concern. See the John Deere Construction website page with its emphasis: “Building. Together. “
Good content captures attention. Introduces new ideas. Addresses personal value to drive action.
When a company listens to their customers, content writers can pick up on natural language used and incorporate that language into the content. For example, in the food service industry, a chef might say “slow and low” when talking about how to cook barbeque ribs. It’s relatable phrasing. Much better than “cook ribs for 2 hours at this temperature” because conditions vary for professional chefs and they like to interpret, rather than strictly follow recipes.
Insight on natural language can be accomplished through social listening on forums, Twitter and Facebook or through customer interviews. Vendors may not get the candid, objective information they are looking for during the customer interview so you may want to outsource this part. Connecting with content writers who understand this process will help you compete beyond price.