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Monday, 16 December 2013

How to Differentiate Your Brand

Have you tried watching the latest singing competitions on TV lately? Have you heard of The Voice? When I first heard about the show and its mechanics, I was smiling like a 10-year old who just got visited by Santa Claus on Christmas. Want to know why?

Because I have always wanted to personify brand differentiation for a long time now and The Voice is the best way to present it.

You see, during the blind auditions of the show, the contestants are the brands/companies while the judges are the ultimate consumers. They have to listen to hundreds of different voices and they have to decide who they will work with throughout the show. It’s just like that time last week when you were staring at a shelf full of various brands of deodorant, toothpaste, and shower gel. You simply can’t make a choice right away.

But the thing is, the ones that get chosen in The Voice and the items we buy for our weekly groceries both have one thing in common. They stand out – they are the differentiated ones.

Think about it. It makes perfect sense. Being different from the rest makes something more outstanding and more memorable and personal to a certain extent. This makes it easy to compare it with the other options given to you.

So how can you possibly differentiate your product from the rest? Maybe you should give these approaches used by the contestants from The Voice.


1 - Break out of the mould

A good 80%-90% of the contenders in The Voice cover current hits or classic hits. Sometimes, a contestant goes on to the next round by trying something new. When a contestant breaks away from the mould by singing something rare, like an opera piece, it shows his/her creativity and courage. This should be the same for brands worldwide. They should not shy away from challenging the accepted norms of their categories. Don’t be afraid to do something different or unexpected if you think it will clearly showcase your strengths as a brand.


2 - Specialise

Many people think that contestants who are well-rounded have better chances in winning. Thing is, you have to be well-rounded and good at it in order to make it count. That is why a lot of the contenders who reach the top focus only on one genre. In marketing, brands are sometimes differentiated by market specialisations. There are companies that want to appeal to a broader market so they won’t limit their business. But you have to remember that positioning your brand to appeal to a specific group in the market gives people the impression that you are an expert, therefore helping you stand out from the rest.


3 - Have an attitude

In the world of music, people sometimes run out of ways to differentiate themselves. These people forget that by simply embracing an attitude, one can differentiate himself/herself from the competition. This holds true for various brands. By embracing a certain attitude or stance, you can differentiate your product from the rest by leaving an indelible impression to your target market. Just remember the Lynx commercials and you will get what I mean.


4 - Own a symbol

Sometimes, it’s the little things that differentiate one from the other. For some contenders, it can be the rare musical instrument they use during a performance like a harmonica. To some extent, it becomes the symbol of that person and the performance. It distinguishes them from the rest. In business, it always pays to 'own a symbol'. It can be in a form of a logo, a creative packaging, or a unique ad. It captures the attention of your market and creates an indiscernible but relevant difference. It may not be as obvious as the other tips above, but symbols, logos, and cues give you that extra push you might need when the competition is tight.

What next?

Get in touch with us to find out how Violet Bick can help differentiate your brand from those around you. Call 0191 27 666 21 and ask for Mark Tinnion or Mike Owen. Alternatively you can email mark@violetbick.com or mike@violetbick.com.

Thank you.

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