03/25/15 | Uncategorized

4 Ways to Ensure You Thrive in a Competitive Marketplace

We felt like little fish in a very big pond, so we took these steps to compete with the big players.

By Katie Robins (Spokesperson, KickDish)

Approaching the food industry with many already established apps was daunting to say the least. With well-recognized apps like Yummly, Epicurious and All Recipes already up and running with a huge client base, we thought to ourselves, how could our startup, KickDish compete?

We soon realized, as a startup, we have a chance to improve the existing services and better the industry, and we knew we had to stay positive!

Step 1: Do Your Research

First we brainstormed ideas, features for the app and new services. Then the research began.

Before making our new ideas and features to the app come to life, we came across what we dreaded all along. Someone else had already the same idea and our lightbulb moments were quickly extinguished.

Time to regroup. When working in a startup, you’ll be lucky if you only have to regroup once, twice or even three times. It takes a lot of trial and error in terms of brainstorming and deciding on the right strategy.

But you can’t let this get you down. It’s all part of the process and it’s important to never give up!

You do not know when that moment will happen when your business suddenly takes off. Working in a startup is an amazing experience to learn all aspects of a business. It also allows you to take control of the direction in which you want to lead your business.

Step 2: Find Your Unique Selling Point and Go For It

Like I said earlier, many features we brainstormed for KickDish already existed or didn’t match our goal in mind. After researching and regrouping, we finally grasped our unique selling point. We noticed many apps already had similar features to ours, but no app encompassed all features or connected these features with a collaborative and price comparison tool.

It is important to give your customers a new experience, and solve a problem. If your product or idea doesn’t stand out, it’s likely it will disappear into the crowd.

We realized the need for a food-intelligent app that not only takes into account taste and intolerances, but also is easy to use, collaborative and makes healthy eating more affordable. By creating these features we solved not just one problem but many; the affordable aspect when it comes to grocery shopping, the customization aspect when it comes to picky eaters and ailments, and the aspect of getting your spouse engaged.

Step 3: Build Your Online Presence

Having agreed on a strategy, it is essential to have an online presence. Research which social media platforms are right for you. For KickDish, we decided to go with Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Since our product offered menu planning, collaboration amongst family members, recipes and grocery assistance, we knew it was vital to capture the attention of the foodies, health fanatics and busy parents across these platforms.

Step 4: Connect With Your Followers (New Ones and Mutual Friends)

Be sure to share relevant information with your followers so you are contributing value to them, not only promoting your product. Make the majority of your posts are about relevant topics. For example, we share recipes, health related topics, money saving tips and kitchen and food hacks.

Go to the people closest to you and try to see if any of their connections can be of help to your business. In the beginning, exposure is key and journalists are much more eager to answer you if you have a personal relationship or mutual friend.

Being the little fish in a big pond can quickly change. It’s important to share your passion with your customers so they can see the vision as clearly as you do.

Great things happen when you least expect them to. For us, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that we were selected as one of eight finalists at the Mobile World Congress, 4YFN in Barcelona. Moments like these are what keep the motivation levels up, so remember, stay positive and something great will come your way.

How did you research your competitors before starting up?

Photo credit: igordabari via Shutterstock.

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