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In my last post, I proposed five principles of brand differentiation:
- The goal is not “difference.” The goal is value and meaning.
- Differentiation is not something you find. It’s something you create.
- In branding, as in life, what we do matters more than what we say.
- “Best” is relative.
- Be precise with your Who. Be creative with your How.
These are the starting points. But if you’ve ever attempted to cut your own hair during a pandemic – speaking hypothetically, of course! – you know there can be a huge gap between “best intentions” and “end result.” Things go wrong along the way.
The same goes for brand differentiation. There’s the moment of inspiration, and then there’s all the hard work that comes after it.
Continue reading “Brand Differentiation: Ten Traps to Avoid”
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Harvard’s Michael Porter famously said that there are exactly two ways to compete: Cost leadership and differentiation.
Are you Walmart or Amazon? No? Then differentiation seems like the way to go.
Practical example: If you own an independent flooring store, and a Home Depot opens up half a mile away, do you really think you’re going to beat them on price? Time to start thinking about playing a game you can win.
The trouble is, many products, services and brands have no real point of difference. Which means they’re in trouble. If you’re not different, you’re dying.
So here are five “first principles” – mindset, not tactics – to help you stand out:
Continue reading “Five Principles for Creating Brand Difference”
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“We’re in a crowded market. We have no meaningful advantage, and if we did, someone would copy it by next Tuesday. So how do we create brand differentiation?”
This question, or some version of it, is one I’ve been asked most often in my 20 years of brand strategy consulting.
The good news: There’s always an answer, and I’ll point you to several areas of exploration. The bad news: It won’t be easy.
Continue reading “In a Crowded Market, How Do I Create Brand Differentiation?”