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Moving The Goalposts To Blow Apart The Competition: A Case Study

Everyone loves Red Bull. Red Bull is exciting, crazy, and have set themselves apart from everybody else. In essence, however, Red Bull is just an energy drink. How do you, as a small business serving a specific, sometimes local, audience, achieve the Red Bull effect? It is almost certain that you won’t have the kind of budget Dietrich Mateschitz has to throw at his caffeine-filled drink, but in the end you only face the same problem that they had: “How do I make what I do interesting?”. Very few products are inherently ‘interesting’, and let’s be honest energy drinks aren’t really one of them. So many businesses are in the same boat and can’t take advantage of the startup mentality to ‘disrupt’ an industry with the product or service itself. So what do you do?

An example from the removals industry.

Removal Services Scotland (RSS) are a well-regarded removals company based in Livingston, Scotland. They face the problem we’ve described: removals are not interesting. Removals are not something you want to do in your spare time, or want to keep up-to-date with every day. Once you’ve moved you’re not really interested until you have to move again! RSS also have a local audience: they specialise in servicing families mainly in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the rest of Scotland. If you’re not in that area why should you have heard of them? That’s why RSS have had to think bigger. They have identified their strengths – high satisfaction and trust, specialism working with families, disclosure-certified and experienced full-time staff – and used that experience to differentiate their service. Moving to a pokey flat? They may not be for you. Moving a family and want peace-of-mind and a team who know exactly what the kids need? Then try RSS. They’ve used that experience and desire for stress-free moves to produce a resource for anybody moving with kids or extended family to use. The Ultimate Family Moving Guide is an attempt to offer wider value to a relevant audience; to show expertise well before their services are needed and plant the seed for the future, building the brand.

Trucking all over the world.

It can’t stop there though. While the startup mentality is possibly a stretch too far for most businesses, more closely integrating a company’s ‘value add’ (such as a family focus) needs to come as close to the product as possible. It should be part of the brand and everything a company does, and able to make an impact through all channels. Turning to our example, Removal Services Scotland are taking the bold step to work closely with family charities and completely rebrand their removals vans in the charity’s colours. Imagine your shock when you pass a huge, bright pink truck on the motorway... if a truck is RSS’s billboard then they are using it to make an impact, both on their potential prospects and the fundraising and visibility for hugely valuable causes, fighting diseases like breast cancer that can tear families apart. Using these two example we can see what everybody needs to do: identify your relevant audience, find out what concerns them, then show expertise to help that audience and connect with them. Then you can become a Red Bull.

Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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