The branding adage “Different is better than better” could never be more true than in today’s business environment. With fierce competition, just being better does not create a sustainable advantage and lasting brand equity. When competition is high it’s differentiation that matters most. Branding and differentiation go hand-in-hand.
Differences grab attention – invoke a response – generates buzz.
To build a great brand you must focus on being different, but that difference must make a difference. Great brands are built on meaningful differentiation based upon:
Your brand does not need to please everyone, but to engage your target market really well. If your difference appeals to everyone then it’s probably not all that different. When your brand is truly different some people will hate your brand and others love it. And those that love it will buy it over and over again and pay a premium for it, extol it, and value it – you can’t do that by promoting a difference with mainstream appeal.
Meaningful and lasting brand differentiation is rarely achieved with a new feature, technology, a one-off ‘er’. Everything is copied in the world we live in – all products, all services, the only thing that can’t be copied is your Brand. You need to differentiate on purpose, values, personality. These create an emotional connection and are almost impossible to imitate.
Your brand’s difference (its distinctiveness) must be substantive and valuable. Today’s consumer can see through most marketing ploys. So, your difference can’t be only what you say, it must be what you do and what you are. You must be relevant, authentic, reliable, and trustworthy – if you have to tell consumers you are different, you’re probably not.
Access the numerous posts on Branding and Differentiation embedded in the 4M Performance website. It’s time you began to forge an iconic brand.
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