Differentiating in a Competitive Market

If someone is thinking of starting a voluntourism company these days the market looks awfully crowded. The secret to successfully entering the industry and attracting enough volunteers to make a sustainable difference is differentiation. Find a unique project, target an untraditional demographic, combine volunteering with another activity – all are great possibilities.

Recently we’ve seen the successful launch of Lifetree Adventures, a division of the youth mission trip company Group Workcamps. Lifetree Adventures offers Christian voluntourism – a trip that’s part vacation, part Christian service (no evangelizing). Travelers will participate in traditional sightseeing in addition to volunteering with local communities – the differentiating factor? Christians traveling with Christians, a demographic that has not yet been targeted.

So be daring, have a look at your current product – is there another demographic you could target? Spanish language clubs? Families looking to explore their roots? Seniors that want to go on spring break? Ex-Peace Corps volunteers??


2 thoughts on “Differentiating in a Competitive Market

  1. I could not agree more. I’d like to recommend a fantastic book by Jack Trout. Differentiate or Die. Bottom line is people will not change who they buy from unless they see the other company is different. If you are not offering something different, you are on track to go out of business. Further to this, probably the greatest marketing mind in the world is Doug Hall. In his book, Jump Start Your Business Brain, he insists you must begin your strategic plan with a BOLD, MEANINGFUL difference. He takes it a step further than Jack Trout with his words, bold and then meaningful. Absent this and as I wrote above…you are starting to go out of business. Sometimes before you actually GO into business. In a year of high airfares, costs soaring, and global currency issues we are at 270% growth as of today. We can prove that this growth, while many others in our industry are down or flat, is due to the differentiation of our product line.

  2. Love the thoughts Randy – way to be the first one to use the comments section! I totally agree that Marketing 101 is really what we all need to get back to and not fancy marketing tricks.

    I would recommend in addition to Trout, Seth Godin and David Meerman Scott – their links are on the right side of the blog under Marketing Resources!

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