Brands are constantly competing for attention and the world around us is changing at an increasing speed. The need for ways to constantly differentiate and stand out has never been more important.
Kyle led a roundtable discussion on February 24, 2011 for CMA Manitoba about setting yourself apart.
More often than not, businesses try to claim differentiation based on having the best service, highest quality, or lowest price. Each of these are very subjective or can be duplicated – even beat – by competitors. So, how can you differentiate yourself from competitors when everyone is saying the same thing?
Many businesses get stuck on their functional benefit, they have trouble seeing past what they do. During the roundtable discussion we shared some ways to see past what you do by connecting with why you do it. The primary shift in thinking was to change from thinking of rational and functional messaging, to discovering an emotional human value to build your brand around an idea that really matters to people.
Change your functional brand into an emotional one.
Another way to differentiate yourself is through continuous and disruptive innovation. If you are constantly launching new and better offerings, you can widen the competition gap and avoid brand erosion. Ideas that are so big they launch you ahead of your competitors or even create new market space can be disruptive to your competitors, you may even find yourself in a new category clear of competitors.
Out-innovate your competitors.
A way to ensure continuous innovation is to create a culture of innovation. With a clear brand purpose leading and inspiring your company, you can communicate how innovation is expected and suited to every role within your organization.
Inspire innovation by creating an environment that feels safe to express and share ideas. Provide assurance and support so people aren’t afraid of learning from failed attempts of seeking a better way. Understand that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
Brands are built from the inside out.