If you can show your prospects and customers that you are different to others, then you can gain a competitive advantage. This is how differentiation works.
The issue then is how to achieve it.
The Difficulty With Differentiation
“The temptation for many businesses is to focus on tweaking the features of their products or services, in the hope that these changes will give them some kind of advantage in the marketplace. This is a very narrow interpretation of differentiation.”
“Sustaining a competitive advantage through a supposedly new and improved product often only yields marginal returns in the long-term.”
Similarly, where a company deals in more intangible elements, such as services, it might look to emphasise the speed of delivery, for example, as a means of differentiation.
“What if you were to look at differentiation itself with a fresh perspective? What if you had a means to differentiate yourself through a different approach to how you marketed your business, including how you raised awareness of your brand with your target audience?”
Meeting the Differentiation Challenge
Using high quality content, businesses can differentiate themselves at a company level, rather than focusing on different services or products.
“For differentiation to yield lasting results it must be sustainable and for this to happen, it cannot be about depending on individual offerings. In this sense, it’s not about the product, but the way you do things, the approach you take”
The emphasis, therefore, should be on positioning and building online credibility and authority.
“A distinctive product on its own risks becoming the equivalent of a one-hit wonder, and needs to sit within a wider context of differentiation, which you will only achieve through the right marketing strategy”
Differentiation Through Content Marketing
Content can create a sense of coherence when it comes to making a brand stand out.
“Instead of focusing on specific product differentiation, tell your story differently”
“Use stories to highlight the pain points of your audience but also to capture the way you look at things that will be uniquely helpful to them”
Building an overall image can yield far more dramatic results than focusing on features.
“To do this, you need to understand what your customers and prospects really care about. You cannot rely on hoping that presenting uniqueness without an actual difference will somehow carry you through. Instead, build your content on substantial stories that define the essence of your brand.”
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How Can You Think Differently About Differentiation?
M3 Media Publishing hosted one of their regular, dynamic breakfast workshops in central Manchester, which explored alternative ways to gain competitive advantage by differentiating yourself.
For more information about these events, or to book your place, please watch the video below or click here.