Outcompete your competitors to product-market fit

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One key element of finding a good position for your startup is your competition. And I don’t want you to think about your competition just as companies who do the same thing as you do.

Outcompete your competition – but who is the competition?

Think about all the alternative actions your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) can take instead of buying from you. So the question to ask yourself actually is: 

“What can my ICP do when he encounters a problem we are solving?”

Because the most frequent answer to that question is: 


“Oh, no, I have a backache. What will I do?” Probably nothing. 

It’s just a backache. It’s not painful enough to solve at the moment. It’s going to become painful in 10 years, and at that point, it might be too late, but right now, I’m not going to buy from you.

The power of urgency and differentiation in outcompeting

The same goes for enterprise sales. The status quo is your biggest enemy because about 60 percent of the deals end in no decision. Because it’s simply difficult to make that choice to change something. It’s easier just to do things that you do, even if you do them poorly. So, to close a deal, you really need two things.

  1. Urgency – so your ICP must actually do an action and 
  2. Differentiation – the ICP must choose you over the competitors. 

So if you feel like you can’t compete with your competitors, if your competition is getting more traction than you do, but you have a better product, if you are losing market share against competitors…

Read on because I’ll be sharing my advice on how to become the no-brainer choice for your best-fit customers. 

And we’ll start by dissing your competition. 

Spotting the market gap: Your path to standing out

The easiest way to find something that people want from software is to find the market gap in your industry.

So, what’s a market gap? A market gap is something that competitors didn’t think of doing or something that they’re doing really poorly.

Learning from Tesla: Innovating within market gaps

So, if you take Tesla’s example, Tesla is making headlines with all the electricity bullsh*t and the mission and the vision. They’re really good with that. But the reality is they came onto the market with an existing product, something that we already know – cars. 

And there are a ton of cars out there. There are luxury cars like Ferraris, Porsches, and Lambos, there are fast cars like Nissan Skylines, and there are cheap cars. There are cars for people who just want a reliable vehicle that takes them from point A to B, like Volkswagen. 

Tesla found that there is a market gap there because there is no car for people who want tech gadgets, right? People love gadgets. People love smartwatches and smart “whatevers.”

TopGear Tesla Model 3 Facelift 9

And they now have a smart car with Tesla because instead of a steering wheel, you get a 32-inch screen, right? So that’s basically the market gap that existed. We couldn’t even produce cars like that in the past because we didn’t have 32-inch LCD screens, but the technology made that possible.

So, the market and the technology evolving opened up a new market gap. Same with AI, right? AI opened a ton of opportunities, a ton of new ways of doing things, faster ways of doing things. And so what you’re looking for is such a market gap.

Identifying opportunities: What your competitors are missing

What you’re looking for is what the competition does poorly that you can do better. And it can be really easy to find such a gap.

If you are selling SaaS software, you need to look at the reviews that the competitors have on Capterra and G2 and find what people are complaining about. 

If a ton of people said: “This software is really cool, but the onboarding for the team required a lot of effort.” That gives you a gap, right?

Example: Outcompete with onboarding

You can create the same product but with the best onboarding process that people have ever seen, right?

And you need to take that to the extreme. That means that your onboarding process needs to be perfect. You need to do everything in your power to become the best at having an excellent onboarding for your software. The software needs to have the features that this audience requires so that it might be similar to your competitors, but it might not be. But what’s important is that you must compete in onboarding.

So that’s how you find and exploit the market gap. Once you have the complaints mapped, you can simply use those complaints to build differentiation. The first question you need to ask yourself is:

– Can we fill that gap?

Are we able to do that? Are we able to do the software with an incredible onboarding? 

And the second thing is: 

– Do customers really care about that, and are there enough customers who are complaining about that? 

Because if they’re complaining about it, it doesn’t mean that they’re willing to pay for that solution, right?

So you need to test if that market gap actually exists and if people are prepared to pay for that solution because, as we found in the previous article, “How to craft a killer value proposition,” you might become the best at something. Still, if that doesn’t provide the value people are prepared to pay for, you’re just creating another product that will end up on the shelves, not sold. 71% of startups fail because they don’t reach product market fit.

But once you have a market gap that people are prepared to pay for, your goal is to become the industry leader, and you need to push all of your efforts there. 

“How can I become the best at X?”

i am the best

Next, you’ll need to communicate your differentiated values, right? So now we’ll take a look at how to make that happen and how to communicate it to your clients.

How do you communicate your differentiation

You have found something that makes you unique; how do we communicate that?

Good communication starts with a good marketing strategy

Based on your ICP, you need to define your marketing strategy and create content around that differentiation. 80% of content should be around that differentiation. You need to make it your mission. You need to make your ICP understand that if they want the best X, they need to come to you, and they’ll only get it if they come to you.

And you can charge a premium price for that.


So you need to structure your marketing materials, website, brochures, and lead magnets to tell that story – to show that you are the best at X.

Same with the product. Your product needs to deliver what was promised, but your product is still part of that story, that experience. If you are claiming something, your product must be walking that talk. So, you need to be communicating your differentiation in your product as well. 

Engaging your team: Aligning around your competitive edge

But most importantly, you need to align the team around that. The team needs to embrace that strategy.

With my clients, usually a month or so into our project, when we come to the first results, we hold a positioning workshop that aligns the team around that positioning and mission. 

Once the team rallies around that strategy, we use that to create an employee engagement plan. Basically, having employees share posts on that mission and share their thoughts on LinkedIn and in articles. And they are happy to do that because they believe in the mission.

This helps build their personal profiles and allows the company to get good reach on their company page + a good reputation as other people see employees creating content around the topics the company is invested in changing.

If you’re ready to make your startup the obvious choice in your market, contact me today. Let’s work together to refine your positioning and strategy. 

Become the no-brainer choice.

By identifying and filling market gaps, your startup can outcompete rivals and become a leader in your industry. Focus on what your competitors overlook and offer value to your ICP. 

But before you do all this, before you change all the marketing materials before you have employees post on LinkedIn, because it’s a huge job, you need to test if that positioning really works.

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