Brand differentiation refers to the ability to exclusively distinct your brand with your competitor by striving for the most effective marketing strategy. In simple layman’s term, it means ‘what makes your product or service different’. BtoB Magazine had revealed a study that ‘nearly 80% of B2B marketers indicated that brand differentiation is a priority for their organisation’. This is in particular essential when you are selling similar products with multiple competitors. The competition becomes more intense when marketplace changes, customers no longer have the same interests/needs and competitors revolutionise their marketing strategies. Hence, the brand will lose its competitive advantage. At this point, it will warrant closer attention from various marketing perspectives in order to stand out from the rest.
Developing successful marketing strategies to bring your brand out in the market can lead you to either endless nightmares or incredible sales results. Hence, achieving brand differentiation, especially in this competitive world, is now every company’s vision to sustain their brand loyalty and most importantly, to yield good returns. Among others, here are some ways to develop your brand differentiation your own way. They can be either combined or used creatively as one’s brand triggers.
Create And Share Your Brand Story. Make this as your compulsory brand profiling to help build your brand personality that is unique. We are not referring to commonly used stories such as merely showing the entire production process of your product or trying to prove how good is the quality of your product. Focus on developing a ‘compelling story’ that will make your brand different in terms of values, what it can deliver and most importantly, how successful it is. Creating a story will not only help you to win half the battle of brand differentiation but also lead to an everlasting memory of your brand that will direct you to one step ahead of being different. A classic example is OLDTOWN White Coffee’s amazing memories of good time stories where they specifically shared them on their main website. There were many video shots in Ipoh where this brand was originated with familiar statement such as,
“Here at OLDTOWN White Coffee, we’re all about staying true to our roots and preserving our cultural heritage. Ipoh is the birthplace of True White Coffee, and we’re proud to call it our home.”
Let Your Customers Experienced Themselves. Customers’ experiences with your brand will also create a permanent impression. You can lead them to experience various ways of exploring your brand through mini-workshops or walkthrough. One excellent example is Mamee Jonker House in Melaka (Malaysia) which offers a variety of experiences for customers. There are Mamee Cafe which creatively offered various instant noodle related dishes for customers to dine in, Mamee Merchandise, Noodle Doodle and Little Mamee Kitchen (a mini-workshop on how Mamee snacks are made), all in one shop. It can be a fulfilling experience for anyone visiting this outlet where you can walk away satisfactory with fair knowledge about the product after all your mini-tours.
Redefine Your Product Use. This refers to redefining the product’s value and changing people’s perceptions of that value. Here, you would want to make your product as distinctive as possible as compared to existing one but not an outlandish one. The recent American movie entitled The Greatest Showman had indicated how P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman) changed his American Museum from showcasing wax models to freaks performers which showcased something ‘alive’ and had attracted a large crowd. This is an example of redefining your product use, in this case redefining his museum which he later renamed it as ‘Barnum’s Circus’.
Availability Within Certain Period Only. Limiting the availability of your brand, say for a period of time may boost your popularity for being different and ultimately, your sales. When customers notice that your product or service is only available for a specific period of time, the demand will increase. For instance, in Malaysia, McDonald’s fold-over set meal promotion was only available during one of the festive seasons for a limited time only. This led all-time fans of fold over to head towards their nearest McDonald restaurant for further grabs of the set meal before the offer ended.
Serve An Unmet Need. An unmet need usually refers to a solution that customers are eyeing at. Gear towards what you can do for your customers. Nowadays, there are many ways to find out how you can serve your customers to meet their needs. Depending on the nature of your products/services, you can use relevant social search to keep up with the trend. For instance, if you are B2B, you can figure out perhaps a new software or platform that will facilitate customer’s day-to-day activities.
A distinctive brand will earn more recognition, interminable impression and most importantly, make a profit. It boils down to how relevant, truly grounded and provable is your brand in order to grow your bottom line successfully. Although it can be challenging to create a powerful impact on brand messaging and positioning that connects customers in a predictable manner, fear no more if you try the above ideas boldly. The skill lies in adopting the most effective brand differentiation strategy to revitalise your brand in a way that reflects your brand’s profile, significance, promise and other key characteristics. Here, brand differentiation could at least minimise high failure rates, wasted resources and damaged reputation.