Brand Differentiation

This is IT! The Holy Grail! It is why we get up in the morning!

Why?

A well differentiated Brand truly has a unique selling proposition. A Brand that enjoys competitive insulation. A Brand with loyal users who are advocates and ambassadors. A Brand that has pricing power, a premium over competitors because you have something important that the other guys do not. Differentiated Brands have few substitutes. Differentiated Brands stand out. Differentiated Brands have the highest sales, the dominant market share, and the strongest margins. They are category leaders, the first movers, the ones with positive momentum, the ones who can go toe to toe with their largest retailer customers.

Does your Brand have all that? Did the Brand used to be distinctive and has lost its lead?

What to do?

  1. Bring new value to your consumer. Dig into the preferences and pain points of both existing and potential customers. Improve your current product or optimize what is out there. Better yet, introduce something that has never been seen before. Just be sure that your innovation meets important needs and is compelling enough to get people to switch.
  2. Deliver a superior value. That may mean more or better benefits at the same price, or a bundle of features that helps you command a higher price. Having proof points that back up your superiority are critical, especially at a higher price point. Do you have consumer research that shows clear preference for your Brand (either versus your prior product or compared with competitors)? Do you have a unique ingredient or special process (particularly if it is or can be patented)? Is your user experience something that other Brands cannot match? Do you (or can you) use data to make that experience even more personal (like you know their favorite flavor or concoction, and you use the customer’s name)?
  3. Solve unique problems. The bigger the client with a more complex operating model or customer base, the better the chance that you can truly differentiate your Brand if you can find ways to solve tough problems in a distinctive manner. This often happens with B2B customers where your Brand strengthens their offering(s). Based on years of experience with that customer, your core competency complements theirs. And perhaps your implementation or integration into their operations is seamless or less resource intense than competitors.
  4. Tap into emotions. The best Brands engender an emotional bond with their consumers. Appeal to their hearts and their heads. Once established, emotional connections tend to be powerful drivers of loyalty. It can be a feeling (like empowered or energized like with Nike). Or a value that is important to that user (like cutting edge design and utility like Apple; or safety with Volvo or Subaru). Or a validation (like the pleasure from enjoying products like Coca Cola or Tostitos with family or friends). It must be a genuine and identifiable emotional connection to work.
  5. Offer exceptional customer support. For lots of consumer products that are sold in grocery stores, there is limited ability to differentiate here. But for most feature rich technology-based Brands, this is a big deal. Consumers truly appreciate and value service after the sale. Think about cell phones. A big barrier to an upgrade or purchase is the hassle of moving all of your data (contacts and content) and settings from the old device to the new one. So, the carriers like Verizon or T Mobile can be powerful in that post sale customer support. If fitting is important, how does your Brand help before and after the sale with measurement or sizing guides, or exchanges and returns. And for today’s digital natives who grew up online, how much online support does your Brand offer (installation, troubleshooting, tips, and tricks, add ons, etc.)?

The best part is that once you have a truly differentiated Brand, the better your financial results are likely to be. BUT you may never rest. You must be constantly vigilant since your competitors and customers never stay still.

It is hard work no doubt. A fresh set of eyes with an objective view of your Brand can be refreshing. You might conclude that it is time to raise your game and invest in Brand differentiation. The payback is worth it. Your Brand’s future may well depend on it.

At Damen Jackson, we thrive on helping clients get the biggest bang for their marketing buck while staying keenly focused on being smart and nimble. We are here to be your partner, your conscience, your devil’s advocate—an extension of your team. And we will always bring the conversation back to strategy. Who is your primary target audience? How does this product uniquely meet their needs? How do we maximize the market opportunity? 

We were recently named #14 among the top 100 marketing and design agencies by Agency Spotter Top Agencies.

Importantly, we are pragmatic, focused, and energetic. We get assignments done well, and quickly.

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

1.    CLICK HERE to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize the details and get started!

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