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Differentiation Strategy – No business is set up with the goal of aligning with other businesses. However, differentiating between yourself and your competitors is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs and marketers face.
It is one thing to want to be different from your competitors, but how do you achieve that? In many cases, the answer can be found in creating an effective differentiation strategy.
This article examines what a differentiation strategy is, when it can be useful, and when it may not be effective.
What is the differentiation strategy and why is it important?
Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, defines competition in business as a struggle to achieve a profitable and unique position in the market.
Differentiation strategy is a way to differentiate yourself from others and give people a reason to prefer your business to others. You might think that companies know everything about this, but most of them have a general strategy by default.
The best differentiation strategies
The classic marketing book, Differentiate or Die, offers ideas for eight types of differentiation:
1. Be the first
Entering the mind with a new idea or product or benefit is a big advantage: HubSpot and introverted marketing; Coca-Cola, “The Original Taste.”
Of course, being first is one thing, and staying first is another. It takes hard work and energy to keep working with a new product or idea. Continuity of innovation is also essential.
2. Feature Leadership
This is when you double a feature. You are known as the best in the market in one aspect or use. Zappos did this with customer support. WP Engine used to speed. Wynter is the only messaging research tool.
You cannot have the same trait or position as your competitor, But you have to look for another feature. Find an opposite feature that allows you to take the lead.
Obviously, some features are more important to customers than others. You have to try to have the most important feature.
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This type of distinction is “most doctors smoke” and “toothpaste recommended by the dentist”. Tylenol has been using the slogan “brand number 1 recommended by a doctor” for decades.
Can you become the preferred tool/service for a particular segment of the influential market?
History has the power to differentiate your product. This can be an important factor because having a natural psychological background is psychologically important, which makes people confident in their choices. The Red Wing shoe factory, for example, was a major supplier to the US military during both World Wars.
5. Be a leader
While people love talented people, they usually bet on the winners. Consumers love leading brands in their industry. Optimizely is safer than other A / B testing tools because the brand is known as a leading company.
Sometimes, people do not know you are a leader, so make sure they know. Maybe you are a sales leader or have the highest customer satisfaction rating or best record, or are a leader in some areas or in a particular segment of the market. In this land, whatever claim you have, it is important that this claim be credible and valid.
Conclusion of Differentiation Strategy
Marketing is a game to attract attention. If you do what others do, it will be difficult to win the game.
If your goal is to gain market share and awareness but do not have a clear distinction in the product, this is a problem. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that can be solved easily.
Differentiation requires a comprehensive commitment. It cannot be left to low marketers. This is not a tactic that anyone can use.
The differentiation strategy should be led by senior managers. The CEO must own it. This is a strategic decision that may determine the long-term success of your company.
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