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How Can I Break into a Competitive Industry?

We are a food company that has quality products and manageable prices. How can I get the attention of distributors and larger retail stores when the items we are selling are similar to other products that are already in supermarkets? Right now, they tell us they are fine carrying out competition. What can we do? Do we have to come up with new products?
Michael Kaleikini answered December 14, 2011
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222448

Coming up with new products might not be necessary. Instead, figure out what you unique selling proposition is. That can show customers why your products are better than the competition's. Perhaps it's your customer service.

Think about this: Zappos.com is not a shoe company -- it is a customer service company. It makes millions of dollars a day not only from selling products but, more importantly, by making things happen for its customers.

If your products cannot stand out then something else has to. Determine what is missing from your potential customer's experience and provide it. Figure out what he or she needs next and see where you can fill that need. Is it pricing? Is it an introductory offer? Will it be the promise of superior customer service and shipping discounts that customers can't refuse?

When you start looking for new opportunities, don't focus so much on what you don't have but on what you do and can do better. You can also start looking for other potential customers that you may not have seen. There are a number of companies that find themselves serving customers they didn't know existed.

Related: Three Tips for Breaking into a Crowded Industry 
Related: How Can I Stand Out in the Holiday Sales Rush? (Video) 
 

Michael H Kaleikini is a business development consultant and founder of Business Refinement, LLC in Henderson, Nev.