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How To Differentiate Your Brand In A Crowded Market Such As The UAE

Thousands of businesses already exist in the United Arab Emirates. Still, its flourishing economy, business-friendly environment, availability of manpower, and strategic location makes it one of the best countries for starting a new company or expanding an existing one.

However, breaking into an oversaturated market such as the UAE will translate to more challenges on your part. Unless you have a truly unique, first-of-its-kind business concept, you will have to compete with hundreds of companies that offer the same product or service that you plan on providing.

This will mean a lot of hard work and, possibly, more expenses as well.

Finding success in a crowded market is not impossible. The key is to differentiate your brand from your competition first. Once you achieve this, you can expect your business to take off.

To give your business the jumpstart it needs, follow these tips to distinguish your brand quickly from the competition, as shared by the best branding agency in Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the UAE:

1.Conduct a competitor analysis

If you want to know how you can stand out from your competitors, do a competition analysis first.

This process involves studying your competitors’ strategies to figure out their strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their products or services. Once you have these details, you can establish what makes your offering unique. You can then leverage these attributes to attract your target market.

A competition analysis can be conducted in four steps:

  • Identify your competitors
  • Research your competitors’ product or service, pricing and marketing strategy
  • List down their strengths and weaknesses
  • Compare the qualities and features of your product or service, along with pricing and marketing strategy, with each of the competitors’ offerings

Once you have all the information, you will have a good idea of how you stack up against your competitors. You can then make smart decisions regarding which features to highlight and which particular one you can use as your Unique Selling Point or USP.

Additionally, you will know what changes you can introduce to distinguish your brand further. You will be in a better position to create a more effective marketing campaign as well.

2.Be more specific with your target market

Certain products and services are more precisely targeted than others. This means that a particular group of consumers will be more likely to buy what you are offering. 

If you can narrow down your target market further, you can find more ways to differentiate yourself. You will be able to make the most of your USP as well.

Additionally, you will be able to have better chances of getting more sales, even if you have just opened your business.

Keep in mind, though, that targeting a specific market won’t limit your potential buyers. Products that are aimed at young people may also be purchased by middle-aged individuals who want to feel young. If your target market is women, men may also buy your product or service to give as a gift to their spouse, partner, or a female family member.

3.Provide exceptional customer experiences

If your product or service is too similar to those being sold by the majority of your competitors, stand out from the crowd by providing an incomparable customer experience.

Study the average customer experience in the industry and make it discernibly better for your target market.

Start by providing the best quality service for every customer you interact with. Be warm and hospitable, and treat everyone you meet with respect, even if they do not purchase anything from you.

Additionally, make your brand accessible. Put together various channels through which customers can get in touch with you easily.

By delivering first-rate customer experiences, you will impress new, potential consumers. Your chances of having them return and recommend your brand will be higher as well. And this will ensure the survival of your business even in a crowded market.

4.Personalize your product or service

Customization is an excellent strategy to take note of if you have a start-up and want to compete with bigger, more recognized brands.

Well-known brands usually operate on a large, industrial scale. This means that their products are produced in huge quantities following an established design and other specifications. Because of this, they will find it hard to adapt and personalize their products to individual customer needs or preferences.

Stand out from the competition, even the biggest ones, by using your agility to modify your offering to appeal and satisfy your target market.

By providing a product or service that you can customize based on your customers’ specifications, you will distinguish your brand and ensure the longevity of your business.

5.Offer fast service or sales

Whether slow service or delivery is one of your competitors’ weakness or not, distinguish yourself from an oversaturated market by providing faster transactions and results.

Most consumers don’t like waiting for their food, for the house cleaners to come, or for their purchased item to be delivered past the agreed-upon time. Create a great first impression and stand out from the competition by reducing the time you need to provide their purchased product or service.

Keep in mind that almost everyone loves a solution that operates faster or is delivered quicker. Many won’t even hesitate to pay more for prompt delivery.

As such, look at your product or service and think about how you can speed up the process or the delivery. Once you have figured this out, highlight this in your digital and printed marketing materials and campaigns. 

6.Employ cost disruption

Lastly, pricing disruption is a market penetration strategy that you can try. In a jam-packed business market, this means offering your product or service at a lower cost than the average prices.

However, be careful with employing this technique since it does not work well for all types of businesses.

If you want to try this strategy, consider whether you have enough capital to survive a price war. Additionally, make sure your business model will allow you to lower your operational costs while sustaining other areas.

A pricing disruption is usually the last resort for business owners who want to break into and stand out in an oversaturated market. As such, lower your prices only after you have carefully studied the feasibility of employing this technique.

Breaking into a crowded market such as the UAE won’t be easy. However, with careful planning and hard work, and the help of trusted providers of quality branding services, you can differentiate your brand. This will be a good start in sustaining the growth and fuelling the success of your business.


Hasan Fadlallah is a Serial Entrepreneur - Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge, the region's leading and award-winning branding consultancy, whose role is to help organizations align their business behind an idea that will deliver success time and again. Equipped with over 20 years of professional consulting experience, today he advises businesses throughout the Gulf and Africa on brand development and in 2014 was recognized by the World Brand Congress who awarded him the prestigious Brand Leadership award in Brand Excellence.

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