We spent most of our childhood trying to fit in, but as marketers, you have to stand out to win. That requires creativity in both product development and marketing. How can you set yourself apart from your competitors? Think of Steve Jobs – his vision, “Think Different,” brought us products we didn’t even know we needed, and Apple innovations like iTunes have changed the way we buy music. While you might not be operating on a scale as large as Apple, there are some specific ways you can make your brand stand out:
1) Technology Differentiation
Launch a technology that fills a gap in the marketplace, and you will rise above the competition. Uber is an excellent example of technology differentiation at work.
2) Price/Quality Differentiation
Customers continually shop for the best deal. Just ask JCPenney, who is still paying the price two years after doing away with sales and discounts. Competitive pricing and quality differences can help move products, but make sure to consider the long-term consequences of your promotional strategy before implementing it.
3) Product Differentiation
Portray value to your customers by highlighting unique product features that are good for them, not you.
4) Customer Service Differentiation
This strategy is often used in the services industry where there’s little variation in product offerings, but it has application elsewhere, too. The most recent State Farm campaign is a good example. Agents materialize out of nowhere to help their customers out of a sticky situation, even if it’s not related to a car accident. That’s “being a good neighbor.”
5) User Experience Differentiation
Every company strives for brand loyalty by providing a memorable user experience. Many of the World’s Most Admired Companies remain at the top of their game because of their ability to keep customers coming back for more.
Marketing differentiation requires a bit of strategy and a solid road map, but with some effort and insight into what drives your customer base to buy, you can rise above your competition and stand out as a product and a brand.
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