Point of Difference: How to Differentiate Your Business
In a world where marketplaces are growing increasingly saturated with different businesses and products, it can be challenging to stand out. There is only room for so many different products and services before the different sources and companies blend and become indistinguishable.
Of course, every company wants to be a competitive brand and stand out from the crowd, but few do that effectively. So businesses need to set themselves apart more than ever to stand out from the competition, and it’s never been harder to be fresh and original.
Standing out is one of the most important things a company can do in the age of modern ecommerce. Many companies are able to effectively retain loyal customers for a number of reasons, ranging from their longevity to their brand experience to their products.
Many larger companies can use their capital to create unique identities for their brands. But smaller businesses often have fewer resources available to create a unique brand identity or product differentiation strategy. As a result, it can be much more difficult to find a way to differentiate without costing excessive amounts of time, talent, and money.
Even though the odds are often stacked against smaller businesses in a massive marketplace, it is still totally possible to find a way to stand out from the competition. It requires self-knowledge and self-awareness, but small businesses can find new ways to innovate in their various marketplaces.
Smaller businesses can more fully commit their entire entities to be unique, which is a huge advantage. In addition, their smaller size allows a greater amount of unity in their branding decisions, which can make huge impacts in business.
Differentiating from the rest of the sellers and companies on ecommerce sites in a category is critically important. It is possible for businesses to create that competitive advantage, no matter their type or size. Here are a few ways that companies of all sizes can create points of difference (POD) in a highly saturated marketplace.
Create a Unique Brand Identity
One of the most straightforward and general things a company can do to differentiate itself is to create a unique brand identity. While this may seem like the obvious solution to the problem, it can also be the foundation of many other more specific ideas.
The brand identity of a company, also known as corporate identity, is the “image” a company presents to the public. This is more than just your unique selling proposition or your advertising slogan. It entails their entire identity as a company. It can go into many different aspects of how they choose to market themselves and operate, including public relations, an advertising campaign, and product design.
For example, a company can choose to make its brand identity based on incredibly high-quality customer service. Sweetwater, for example, has established a brand identity based around providing the very best service to musicians and other various workers in the music industry.
This has created a highly dedicated customer base and established its unique brand identity using reliability and deliverability amongst a saturated marketplace of music sellers.
While high-quality customer service may be Sweetwater’s brand identity, other companies can also take advantage of their industry’s more basic and simple parts. Businesses can look at the most basic aspects of the industry they are in and intentionally focus on how to capitalize on the small things, such as developing a new product feature or choosing which of the brand’s points of difference to advertise.
Do your research to determine which brand identity will work best to sell your company’s product or service. Finding a competitive frame of reference can be an important strategic move when determining the best way to market your brand through brand imagery associations, consumer insight associations, or brand performance associations. Looking at consumer trends can also help you decide.
Whether it’s creating a better user experience, innovation through technological advances, or positively creating brand imagery associations, crafting a unique brand identity can help you stand out in a competitive market. This will help to create a dedicated customer base and a unique brand identity that can make waves.
Dive Into Niche
One way to differentiate your brand from other businesses is to capitalize on niches. Often, there will be smaller pockets of customers in an industry with a deep passion for one specific part of the products and services inside of the industry.
One way to create uniqueness as a brand is to choose one of those niches and aspects of the company and master it like no one else has done before. This can very quickly create a hard and fast following amongst a narrow market segment, which can lead to tremendous success down the road as their go-to brand choice.
Niches are often overlooked by large retail companies with an overwhelming variety of products who are trying to capture the attention of the largest market possible. While these large markets are undoubtedly valuable, the smaller groups of people are often looking for product characteristics and services that more closely fit what they are looking for.
Finding and meeting these niches’ needs can help create tight customer relationships, an example of professional practices that help differentiate a company from the competition. These smaller target markets are also often easier to market to, which makes the job even easier.
Give Back to the World
Companies choose to differentiate themselves from competitors by giving back to the communities and parts of the world they operate in.
Many companies will rally around a product that they are good at creating and then focus on giving back as much as possible to a specific need in the world. This can help customers who care about the same global problems to have a reason to purchase from the company. It also creates new customers from those who are supporting causes they believe in.
People want to support charity. If they can do that while also supporting a company fighting for the exact cause, it can succeed for that business. Corporate social responsibility is an important part of almost all businesses, but capitalizing on it as a differentiating factor can help the business just as much as the cause they’re fighting for.
Price Products Differently
One way to differentiate a brand or a business is to take a product or genre of products and go after an entirely different price point.
For example, take high-cost luxury products, and sell them at a lower price point to make them much more affordable to people with less money. Alternatively, a business can take products that are generally cheaper and more accessible and sell them at a higher price to create a high-end and luxurious version.
These processes instantly create a new identity for the product and are likely to help differentiate the company as a point of parity from other brands in their industry. Separating from the status quo is an essential part of differentiation and can affect how a company operates.
This can be a fairly labor-intensive process, as creating products at a new or mostly unheard-of price point often involves making the same products from the ground up in an entirely different way. The quality levels get shifted around dramatically, leading to unique modes of operation in the manufacturing process.
However, because the company would be creating a likely already familiar product, customers would likely try out the new product much more readily. The process of taking something familiar and making it brand new is always exciting and can make a big impact on any business’s identity.
Work with Influencers
A considerable part of marketing in the modern world is getting word of mouth to work in the company’s favor. This can mean using influencers across all kinds of platforms, from social media to television ads to product placement in various media types.
Every time someone uses the product for good, it will help separate the product and company in the viewers’ minds. They will associate the product with something else that they love, which can differentiate the company.
Influencer marketing is a huge part of marketing in the modern world. It can help to establish the brand and can cause more and more people to come to a brand in the first place. Therefore, it is hugely important for many different companies, no matter what products they are selling or which industry they market to.
Getting influencers to endorse products can have a massive impact on all kinds of brands and lead to great success in the business world.
How Harper+Scott Can Help
Often, creating points of differentiation can be very difficult for small businesses. They often struggle to have the resources and knowledge of their target audience to differentiate themselves from their competitors effectively.
However, that differentiation is something that Harper+Scott excels at. Harper+Scott has worked with many companies, from startups to Fortune 500 businesses, to create products and services that are unique, exciting, and profitable.
No matter what the company needs or what medium they are working with, Harper+Scott can offer high-level design choices, content creation, and consultation for all kinds of businesses trying to expand their brand and identity. The next great business is right around the corner, and with Harper+Scott, the possibilities are endless.