Differentiation – Keep it simple
As I sit here preparing to write my first blog ever, I’m wondering what to write about, how long it should be, how in depth I should go, etc. Then I heard one approach is to keep it simple and right away I thought of something we do here at dRC, positioning and branding.
When positioning and branding, sometimes the more obvious and less complex a solution the better. After all, you want the market to quickly and easily see and understand what your position is, what differentiates you. If a prospect has to think too hard or too long, or doesn’t easily see how you are different, and better, than your competition, they’re going to move on.
We can’t get caught up trying to make a solution more complex than it needs to be in order to justify our fees. I think sometimes creatives or agencies add unnecessary layers, and think in terms of quantity not quality, to feel more comfortable with what they are charging a client. If a solution works, it doesn’t matter how basic or obvious it is perceived to be, it will be valued and worth the fee.
Of course, the key is to do your homework. Good research into competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and how they differentiate themselves, along with understanding what you bring to the table, are key to successful positioning. To stand out from the competition you have to position your company differently than all competitors. And if you break it down to the most basic and obvious, that makes it easy for the market to understand and remember you.
As an example, when positioning one of our clients a few years back we looked at their competitors to see what they were saying and talked to their customers to see what was important to them. Our client was a group purchasing organization. They and all of their competitors were focused on the cost savings of the contracts. Their customers figured that should be a given for having a contract. What was most important to these power multi-taskers was their time. Thus we focused their differentiator and positioning on how important and valuable their end user’s time was, how our client seamlessly plugged in to help the end user and how our client would free up time for their end users. The market was hit with a fresh, new angle they had never heard, and our client has never looked back.
To find examples everyone will know, the auto industry is an excellent place to look. Some automobile manufacturers have done a great job differentiating their brand. When thinking automobiles and you hear “Safety”, the first brand that comes to mind is … Volvo. “Engineering” … Mercedes-Benz. “Ultimate Driving Machine” … BMW.
Simple. Obvious. Successful.