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61 Methods To Differentiate Your Model

61 ways to differentiate your brand

Everyone wants a brand that's different. The irony of this statement is intentional. It disproves the conservative way most brands approach competitive differences.

They say they want to be distinctive for consumers, but often they actually want to align themselves with the rest of the industry at heart (read conform). One of the main problems is the uncertainty of brand and decision-makers to find a starting point.

In a way, it's less difficult and daunting than it first appears. Start with a premise that is really one degree away from your rivals. By developing this premise logically and with strong discipline over time, you build a brand that is consistently and clearly different.

Here are 61 ways you can make a big difference for your brand:

1. Go slowly into a world of speed. Each Rolex takes one year to produce. The perception that a longer process is required to build the best watch in the world increases the perceived value.

2. Use the country of origin to your advantage. Swiss brands are closely related to precision and fine craftsmanship. Try to build brand associations with countries that support your reputation for service, manufacturing, innovation, etc.

3. Behave differently. The online shoe retailer Zappos has built its advantage on an iron right of return and customer service that goes far beyond this and removes the perceived obstacles when it comes to selling and buying shoes online.

4. Look different. Apple always looks like Apple. Diesel always looks like diesel. Absolut Vodka always looks like Absolut. They belong to one category, but differ in this category.

5. Be the outsider in a category where everyone else wants to be the best dog. Nantucket Nectars started "just with a blender and a dream," and Clif Bar announces that its founder once lived in a garage. Outsiders win the compassionate consumer. Look for the underdog story you can tell.

6. Be shocking really and without excuse. Benetton's "Unhate" campaign ruffles feathers on almost every front. But – and this is crucial – the outrage you generate must be connected to a solution, and that solution should be your front. Otherwise, you simply risk screaming in the wind.

7. Expand your appeal. Discover an undeveloped audience in your category and strengthen the sense of community around your brand and the interaction of people with the brand. Enterprise Rent-A-Car did just that by offering leasing at a time when competitors weren't. By meeting this unmet need while taking into account the customer experience, Enterprise became the world's leading car rental company. Apple has also seen what others have not done. No one asked for an iPhone, but an untapped audience emerged when a new value in the form of a cell phone was introduced.

8. Reinvent (and) own a category. UFC became the fastest growing sports organization in the world by redefining the reach and audience for mixed martial arts. Today, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the world's largest pay-per-view event provider. Swatch differed from other watch brands in that it focused on self-expression when the rest of the watch industry focused on precision.

9. Create a new category. Airbnb, the Toyota Prius, the Nintendo Wii and Red Bull are brands that have created new categories outside of the established norms of their product category. By crossing the boundaries of their categories, these brands have created a space that they can call their own.

10. Tell a story that defines you and is unique to you. The story may be about your founder, like in the case of Virgin and Richard Branson, your legacy like Hickory Farms, or the value you bring to the world, like Coca-Cola's overt happiness. It can also be imagination-like the thought that Keebler elves make Keebler cookies. Or maybe it's a story based on your closely guarded secret – only two people in the world know the Coca-Cola formula. Your story may also be about the source of your product, service, or inspiration.

11. Break new ground in the spirit of your founder. Long after her death, Chanel embodies the philosophies, ideals and legends of Coco Chanel.

12. Use your history to define tomorrow. National Geographic has redefined what it means to experience the world we never see by expanding its channels and offerings while keeping its history.

13. Have an eternal idea. Red Bull expresses its belief and addiction to excitement in every act. Ingredients, spirit, sponsorships and the human desire to do things that make the heart beat faster are inextricably linked. Dove owns and serves the idea of ​​real beauty. While Lululemon finds his eternal idea in the mental state of yoga and has built a strong athleisure brand on this concept.

14. Change the possibilities. This is about more than just product innovation. It's about introducing technologies that fundamentally change people's lifestyles. Boeing has redefined traveling with the 747 forever. LinkedIn brought business people together to network and share ideas. Dyson changed the possibilities by reinventing old technologies such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and fans.

15. Make active plans to be where others are not (yet). This article looks at the fact that Chinese consumers are now overwhelmed by western brands and business in Greater China has become very expensive, while other countries in Asia with booming economies such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are largely overlooked.

16. Solve a global problem. Big bang solutions in areas such as pharmaceuticals or biotechnology require huge investments and scary time frames, but when they work, they deliver huge distinctions, recognition and profits. A "big bang" solution can come from any brand – TOMs tries to solve the problem of children without shoes. TOMs fits every pair of shoes bought with a pair of new shoes for a child in need. One for one.

17. Build Groundswell. Do something amazing to get attention. Use attention to build a lot. Use a lot to gain credibility. Use credibility as a starting point for your next distinctive action. Red Bull, Virgin and Apple should come to mind.

18. Redefine how people buy. With millions of products, 24-hour access, excellent search and browsing technology, user ratings and many other sources of detailed product information, Amazon offers an excellent shopping experience.

19. Bring unprecedented optimism into a category. Nike has redefined what people think they should be able to do.

20. Connect the previously unconnected. LinkedIn brought business people together to connect and share ideas in an effortless, credible and global way. In this way, they solved a problem that no one knew they had until they realized the potential for what they could do now.

21. Rewrite the experience. Southwest Airlines brings the fun, the idiosyncrasies and the savings back to the serious and process-rich world of travel. Starbucks did not differentiate by coffee, but by a "third place" – a break between home and work.

22. Make what you sell more personal. This infographic shows how much more retailers could personalize.

23. Link your brand to specific occasions. Habits are powerful, but opportunities can be even more. They involve us so effectively because they combine time and concentration. And that's why they're giving permission – it's okay to act either way. It's okay to do something that you wouldn't do on a normal day. De Beers, Hallmark, Mercedes, Hershey, Cadbury, MACY and others have used occasions or created occasions and have become synonymous with the celebration of these occasions.

24. License to the brand. Brand licenses can give a brand valuable new meaning and further differentiate it from its competitors. Pillsbury licenses the Cinnabon brand to do just that for their cinnamon buns. Colgate licenses Disney characters to increase brand appeal.

25. Break away from conventional wisdom. Breakaway brands bring new meanings to the party and make the most of the spread by keeping enough of the old ones to avoid category defects. Breakaway brands broaden the boundaries and live as outliers. These brands are the opposite of the well-behaved brands in the category and therefore offer a radical differentiation from the status quo. Cirque du Soleil is one such brand. It falls into the "circus" category, but this brand has skillfully created a highly valued and differentiated positioning, like anything that a circus is not. There are no tents, tigers and elephants. No ring masters. Instead, it borrows attributes from other entertainment categories such as dance, music, opera, and theater. All in all, it will be something else – far beyond the confines of a conventional circus.

26. Change the name. Sometimes your original brand name counteracts its attractiveness. Take the Chinese gooseberry. When the name was changed to kiwi, the world suddenly had a new favorite fruit. New names offer the opportunity to create new brand associations.

27. Personalize. The character of the Green Giant became different in many forms in a vegetable family. Frank Perdue became the tough man behind the tender chicken. The gecko became the popular spokesman for GEICO.

28. Create a new element. The cantaloupes wanted to distinguish a special, large cantaloupe. But instead of just calling them "big", they introduced Crenshaw melons. Tyson wanted to sell miniature chickens, which doesn't sound very appetizing. This is how Cornish wild hens were introduced.

29. Reposition the category. Pork was just a pig for many years. Then the industry jumped on the chicken cart and became "the other white meat". It was a very good move when red meat became a perception problem.

30. Identify, identify, identify. Ordinary bananas became better bananas when a small Chiquita label was added to the fruit. Dole did the same for pineapples with the Dole label, as did the salad people, putting each head in a clear foxy salad package. Of course, you then have to explain why people should look for these labels.

31. Be the expert or specialist. The specialist can focus on one product, one benefit and one message. This focus enables the marketer to put a sharp point on the message that quickly brings it to mind. Domino can focus on home delivery. Pizza Hut needs to talk about the different pizzas, home delivery and sitting service.

32nd prize with pride. Starbucks rates their coffee higher to improve the perception of the quality of their coffee. Singapore Airlines, the world's most profitable airline, does the same thing and always sells at a premium. In any case, the price is a signal of supremacy – differentiation based on perceived quality.

33. Use ingredient brands. The north wall uses Gore-Tex technology for differentiation. In the PC area, the Intel brand contributes to the perceived performance of the product. Everyone brings noticeable differences for themselves.

34. Aim very strongly at a market. Who you focus on can make a unique difference. Consider FOX News, an American news agency designed to serve the Republican Party and its supporters. This laser focus has made it a synonym for conservative views and guidelines, and has created by far the strongest trademark associated with these views. Wegmans Supermarkets believes that satisfied customers are generated by satisfied employees. They built their strong brand on the mantra that employees are number one.

35. Change the range. How your product or service reaches a customer can set you apart from others. Redbox specializes in the rental of DVDs and video games. An easy-to-use kiosk differentiates it from its competitor Netflix and has helped seal Blockbuster's fate. Amazon has a futuristic plan to deliver some drone orders.

36. Give unprecedented access. The reason people were flying Concorde was because of the opportunities that might arise from who you would sit next to. You didn't pay for a faster flight, but for the company. Country clubs in Asia are the same. It's not about golf. It's about networking. Citibank Citi Private Pass card holders have unique value in preferred access to entertainment events.

37. Share values. If a brand is based on shared values, it can differentiate these values ​​and enjoy perhaps the strongest bond in the marketing world. Think of every brand that is really important and you will find that the kind of people who buy the stuff are the same kind of people who design, manufacture and sell the stuff. This is the power of brand values ​​and the alignment of brand identity. Clothing brands such as Patagonia, L.L. Bean and The North Face understand the importance of shared values. The bond that binds is a deep interpersonal connection between the users and the creators.

38. Stand for something your customers want to stand for. In the same way as the enthusiastic clothing brands mentioned in # 37, Kashi grain customers see themselves, their values ​​and their identity in complete harmony with the Kashi brand. They are one and the same. The Kashi also take care of the same things as their consumers – more health and well-being for themselves and the planet. For Kashi, making food that improves life is sacred. For Kashi customers, it is sacred to live well. More and more people are waking up, taking care of others and our planet, and also buying Kashi products. Your brand can differentiate as the good brand in your area.

39. Give them something to unpack. The packaging design offers one of the greatest opportunities for brand differentiation. Color, shape, size, functionality, texture and materials can influence purchasing decisions. A Tiffany & Co. box and its characteristic blue are unmistakable. Innovative packaging is another differentiator for both Apple and Tropicana, which has recognized the value of this difference when trying to redesign its packaging.

40. Engage the senses. Every marketer should explore the senses when developing brand differentiation strategies. Each of the five senses offers a channel to connect with your target customer and make a difference. The more they get involved during customer contact at a certain point in time, the more your brand and what it stands for will be remembered. The fragrance branding in the hotel world is an example. Sofitel, Le Meridién, the Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Sheraton and Marriott are some of the hotel brands that use a unique fragrance strategy to further differentiate themselves from their competitors.

41. Give your brand a famous face. The centuries-old strategy of combining products and services with a well-known celebrity continues to be a viable option for brand differentiation. However, the rules have changed. There has to be an authentic match between the brand and the celebrity. A typical example: Tiger Woods and Nike Golf: Yes. Tiger Woods and Buick: No. The association between brand and celebrity must be clear and obvious.

42. Redefine usage. The use of your product can serve as a key differentiator. Arm & Hammer baking soda became a lot more when customers discovered that it was also a powerful air freshener. This has helped Arm & Hammer not only to open up new categories, but also to create a multi-purpose brand that is of greater importance for the target customers.

43. Introducing simplicity and purity into people's crowded lives. Stand for good things. Market highly valued values. With in-depth customer insights, you know what your target customers value most. These insights can help create highly valued brands. Honest Tea arose from the knowledge that simple and pure refreshment was lacking on the market. The Method brand was created by searching for household cleaning products that were not harmful. The honest company challenged unhealthy compromises in the manufacture of products.

44. Touch the power of emotions. Linking your brand with customer emotions can prove to be an effective differentiator. It was humor that helped GEICO to assert itself in the world of insurance brands. While their competition focused on fear, GEICO used witty and fun campaigns to differentiate themselves and gain an advantage. Brands like Hallmark found that differentiating the brand based on human emotions could result in a share of 92%.

45. Check accessibility. Brands can differentiate when they make their products and services available and for whom they provide them. Elite luxury brands will limit the number of branded products. The most influential customers have access to these products first. It all builds on the frenzy that drives the desire and purchase of the brand. It also helps to get a premium price. Brands like Coca-Cola use accessibility at the other end of the spectrum. You want to be the most accessible brand and have sales channels to the deepest regions of the world.

46. ​​Focus on design and aesthetics. Consider Hermès scarves, Vilebrequin men's swimwear, Robert Graham shirts, and Alexander McQueen fashion clothes. Or how about the collection by Michael Graves Design at Target? This also helps college and university brands. Beautiful campuses tend to attract students. For community brands, “attractive neighborhoods” are one of the most important things that people take into account when deciding where to live. Camden, ME, Niagara-on-the-Lake (ON, Canada), Quebec City (QC, Canada) and Bruges, Belgium, are very popular tourist destinations, largely due to their superior aesthetics. Never underestimate the power of differentiation of superior aesthetics.

47. Promote a higher status. If you knew I went to the Philips Academy, Andover, Harvard and Stanford, lived in Atherton, California, did summer in Nantucket, drove a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and sailed a Nautor Swan53, these brands would make my social status effective communicate?

48. Create a unique product buying experience. How different is buying a teddy bear with a child in a bear workshop from buying a teddy bear off the shelf in a typical toy or department store? Very different. And very differentiating.

49. Create an unusual topic or context. Consider the following unusual restaurant brands: Opaque (eating in the dark), Ice Restaurant (in Dubai), Underwater Restaurant in the Maldives, Magic Restroom (toilet theme) Café in California or Dinner in the Sky (50 meters above the ground). You can find more creative restaurant themes here.

50. Treat people differently than your competitors. We love Ritz-Carlton's mantra "Ladies and Gentlemen who serve ladies and gentlemen". This alludes to a level of gentleness, courtesy, and respect that is not often seen when buying or using products. If there is no way to better serve your customers, create one.

51. Create A. Brand ritual. Linking a brand to a set behavior can have a huge impact on loyalty and enjoyment. Consider some classic examples of rituals that we all know: separate your oreo and dip it in milk; Split a KitKat in half and eat on a break; Open the cap of the Pringles tube. and the 9-step pouring ritual of the Stella Artois. Rituals provide a way to interact with the brand that is fun, well known and widely used. This in turn gives them higher value.

52. Use nostalgia. Nostalgia can be a strong ally in building brands. Dr. Bob Deutsch said on Branding Strategy Insider: "As we get older, our nostalgic yearnings grow and make us more receptive to advertisers and marketers who use what researchers call" longing for positive memories from the past ". In addition to the Arrow of Time This desire for nostalgia is compounded by society's current circumstances in reducing predictability and opportunities. "

53. Use consumer creativity. Invite your customers to pave the way forward. First Lego League is a robotics competition that is not run by the brand. Up to 70,000 children around the world compete to build Lego robots that solve problems. Lego Ideas is essentially a branded version of Kickstarter, in which prospective Lego designers must receive 10,000 supporters for their project to be considered. And support is not a simple "like", but a survey!

54. Distinguish with attitude. Do not build a product and then try to market it. Instead, create a customer setting and then a product that matches that setting.

55. To adjust. With NIKEiD, customers can fully customize their sneakers. Buyers can put logos on the midsole and side tip of the shoe, customize the “Swoosh” from twelve different colors along with the base, heel and even the laces of the sneakers.

56. Be the mediator. Be the bridge to the desires and needs of consumers. Shopstyle, Expedia and Facebook monetize access like no other.

57. Be the minimalist. Dollar Shave Club is the brand for "shaving technology you don't need". It offers consumers a breakthrough alternative that only delivers what is most important at a fraction of the price.

58. Be the instigator. Fight with everything in your category that stands in the way of customer satisfaction. Challenge yourself and your rivals aloud to defeat opponents in the category that force customer compromises.

59. Be the leader in surprise and joy. Unpredictable and surprising events will be remembered sooner than expected moments. And every time you remind your customers of your brand, product or service, new memories are created. With your brand, always think about how you can remind your customers of the advantages you offer and strengthen your positive qualities. The end of a brand experience dominates a person's memory of events. Be sure to surprise and delight.

60. Be the most transparent. Let the consumer know about your strengths, and transparency is vital today, and admitting weakness can also be a strength. It works because admitting weakness is tangible evidence of honesty and therefore makes other claims more credible.

61. Be hostile. Hostile brands are "brands that are hard to come by". The antithesis of “feel-good brands”, hostile brands, defiantly demands a decision – love me or leave me. It sounds risky, but the number of successful brands that at least practice elements of hostile marketing is astonishing. Consider Harley Davidson and it's not for everyone, tiresome bikes and settings on your face. Red Bull does not apologize for its evil ingredients and underground marketing focusing on extreme sports. Dominos Pizza announced through an advertising campaign that "No!" to customers who want to add or remove toppings from items in the artisanal pizza line. Hostile brands create consumer barriers that can be seen in many ways as a test of customer loyalty.

To be different is not to be the same. To be unique means to be unique.

Be different and unique with a significant difference for those who are most important to your future.

By Derrick Daye with Mark Di Somma

The Blake project can help you differentiate your brand: The brand positioning workshop

Brand Strategy Insider is a service from The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy that specializes in brand research, brand strategy, brand growth and brand building

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