In today’s very competitive environment being better than other brands no longer creates a sustainable advantage. Don’t be an ‘ER’ brand as you ramp-up your your company. It is critical to identify and develop key brand differentiators.
How To Ramp-up Your Brand
Your Brand must have a unique feature, aspect, and/or benefit. It must set itself apart from competing brands. This is how you form the basis of your competitive advantage.
Our brains are hard-wired to notice differences. Your Brand must do the same thing. People have lots of choices and very short attention spans. That combination makes Brand differentiation more difficult and MORE IMPORTANT.
Sometimes your Brand’s key differentiator is obvious and definitive. In other cases, you may have many possible choices so you need to prioritize them. If possible, identify three key ones.
1st – List things that do or could differentiate your Brand
– target market – specific customer segments your brand appeals to
– attributes – descriptive qualities or characteristics of your brand
– ingredients/specifications – the unique elements that comprise your product/service
– methods – the proprietary method by which your product is made or your service is delivered
– claims – definitive statements that can be made about your brand
– brand heritage/story – the narrative of why and how your brand came to be
– technologies – specific technologies distinct to your product/service
– performance – the unique way your product works or result it produces
– endorsements – statements of approval or support from people, groups, organizations
– awards – recognition for your brand
– company – your firm’s unique programs,, people, design, etc.
– brand personality – the way your brand expresses itself
2nd – Rate Each Differentiator
– Importance To Target Customers – your differentiation must make a difference to the target market
– Difference From Competitors – the greater the difference, the stronger the differentiator
– Ease Of Achieving & Sustaining – how easy it is for you to establish & maintain the difference
– Relevance To Brand Essence/Purpose – the strongest differentiators support the Brand’s essence
3rd – Note The Top Differentiators & Identify The Lead One
– Ensure Each Differentiator is Clear & Specific – use the language of the target customers and be as descriptive & definitive as possible.
– Consider using A/B testing among your target customers to help you understand the importance of your differences.
Ramp-up your brand. The more positive differences you demonstrate to your target market the more sales will increase as you build brand equity. Don’t be an ‘ER’ company, ever!