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Driving differentiation

In simple terms, there are three ways to describe your product or service. Sadly, many marketers stop at two.

  • What it is (physically)
  • What it does (functionally)

But the third descriptor is arguably the most important.

  • How it makes you (the customer) feel.

In most cases products will compete with products that are physically similar. There are exceptions of course, like a washing powder versus a washing liquid, but you get the idea.

And from a functional point of view, they will be trying to achieve the same outcome – otherwise, they’re not actually competing.

But it’s the emotional relationship – how you make the customer feel – that provides the greatest opportunity for differentiation.

Think about yourself. You might look or sound different to the next person, but what really differentiates you is your personality – how you make people feel when they’re around you.And brands are no different.

Or, as Clayton Christensen, the father of ‘disruption strategy’ says:

“New products succeed not because of the features and functionality they offer but because of the experiences they enable.”

And that goes for established products and services too.

It does require a change in mindset, it’s natural to talk in features and benefits. If you’d like some help developing that mindset, contact us or email