How to Strategically Position Your Growth Around Your Customers to Give You a Competitive Edge

In the world of business, especially in unstable markets, the ability to anticipate and cater to the ever-changing needs of your customers is essential.  This goes beyond algorithms and is truly about strategically interpreting the insights into your customers’ changing needs and habits.

Customer-centric growth is firmly planting around the needs and preferences of your customers at the heart of your growth plans.  Doing so successfully can be a winning formula in today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore five ways you can strategically position your growth around your customers, setting yourself apart from your competitors and scaling your business with confidence.

1. Clearly Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Your USP is what differentiates your product or service in the mind of your customers. By building a growth strategy focused around your USP, you will ensure a competitor advantage.  Whilst many SMEs can get caught up in “comparisonitis” – adopting healthy benchmarking and positioning in the competitor landscape helps shape your differentiating factors. Start by identifying the exact features, benefits, or experiences that set your business apart from your competitors and then make them the centrepiece of your marketing and growth efforts. By being clear about what you stand for and makes you different, offers a refreshing alternative to previously tested offerings – but be clear that you’re benchmarking for a segment that have invested time and money into seeking out solutions.

2. Invest in Improving Customer Experience (CX)

The quality of the customer experience has a direct impact on the success of your business. According to a Walker study, customer experience dominated price and product as the key brand differentiator in 2022. In 2023, a staggering 19% of customers cited a perceived lack of value for money (19%) for reasons for cancelling their subscriptions according to RIFT. Intentional CX Strategies go beyond the “fluff” and invest time, effort, and resources to improve every touchpoint:

  • Train your support staff to consistently deliver exceptional service – going above and beyond should feel exceptional to the customer, but a normalised part of the organisational culture
  • Streamline your customer onboarding process. First impressions really do count and set the tone for the customer relationship. The critical first interactions are judged on how easy it is to engage with your brand and organisation.
  • Make the customer journey across all channels seamless by ensuring that it is wholly mapped out, and that each touch point has intentional ROIs and opportunities to elevate the experience and regain customer confidence.

3. Use Feedback to Drive Your Growth Strategy

As you plan your growth, your customers should help chart the course. In today’s interconnected world, instant communication means constant feedback loops. Leverage this valuable source of information by optimising opportunities to gain customer insights.  These insights drive the organisational strategic direction of retention, growth and future opportunities:

Building in feedback into the customer journey and communications strategies can take many forms including:

  • Conducting regular customer surveys, be it short forms, video, face to face
  • Intentional tracking of reviews and testimonials
  • Social listening through monitoring social media channels and feedback forums

Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make informed decisions in line with your customers’ needs and preferences, ensuring your growth remains focused on solving their problems and meeting their demands. This conscious mindset creates new market opportunities for diversification, product development and disruption. How exciting is it to say “well you’ve tried every other way, but how about we try a new fresh approach to lead to your desired outcomes”

4. Measure and Monitor ROI

In the context of customer centric growth, it’s important to step back and evaluate the effectiveness of your various growth initiatives. Tracking key ROI (Return on Investment) metrics, such as churn rate and customer acquisition cost, provides a clear understanding of which initiatives drive the most value for your business.  In turn this enables you to double down on these and cut underperforming activities.  Remember though it is key that your metrics relate to your organisational growth goals – focus on what you can grow!

5. Constantly Innovate to Stay Relevant

It’s pivotal to keep refreshing your product and service offerings to maintain a competitive edge. By building a culture of continuous innovation and growth based on your customers’ needs, you’ll inspire customer loyalty and ensure long-term scalability.

Stay up-to-date with industry trends, collaborate with customers, and leverage technology to maintain a vibrant and customer-centric approach to innovation. As we’ve seen with the rise of AI, it is difficult to plan for a business in 10 years time, as that may not be relevant then.  So how can you harness today’s knowledge and insights to increase shorter term wins whilst building towards longer term goals.

By adopting a customer-centric mindset and putting these five strategies into action, you’ll be well-positioned to scale your business with the confidence that you’re creating tangible and sustainable competitive advantages.

I’m Caron and not “Karen” and I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with customer-centric growth. Subscribe to my email list for the latest insights into growing your business with the power of customer centricity.

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